The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke talks Supes, adapting comics for TV

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Showrunner Eric Kripke talks writing shocking, subversive scenes for the new Amazon Original series, The Boys, and shares one major writers’ room rule.

The new Amazon Prime Video Original series The Boys offers a unique (and at times all-too realistic take) on what it would be like if superheroes lived among us and were prominent in society as celebrities and influencers. Controlled by brand images, political financing, and their individual reputations, we quickly learn that these “Supes” abuse their physical and social powers.

The heroes of the story however are the non-superpowerful group who come to be known as “the Boys” — a group of unexpected allies who find themselves on a quest to take down the most popular Supes and the multi-billion dollar conglomerate that controls their lives and public images.

At San Diego Comic-Con, executive producer and showrunner Eric Kripke joined the cast to talk with Hidden Remote and other press outlets about The Boys and what it was like to adapt comics into this new Amazon Original series.

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Kripke explained that one of the reasons he was drawn to Amazon Prime Video (aside from the fact that they wanted to buy the pitch) was that Amazon ha

s an incredible amount of freedom. “The streaming format really allows you to really open up the world and explore the characters, and get as outrageous as the show wants and needs to be,” Kripke said. Along with having the ability to match the visual effects that are now seen in major superhero movies, Amazon also gave Kripke and other creators a large amount of freedom “to make this strange, perverted show.”

The Boys is based on an American comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis, and Kripke spoke on the process behind adapting the comics for this series — especially when it came to the more shocking and outrageous scenes. “We wanted to capture that subversive spirit, that kind of anarchy, but in the same respect, we didn’t want to be shocking for shocking sake or exploitive,” Kripke explained. “I don’t think that really works in a TV show. I think you need to feel you’re in the hands of competent storytellers. So the overall rule in the writers’ room has been we’re all for something shocking or subversive or crazy, but it has to be really important to the story or be really important to advance the character.”

Kripke said in The Boys‘ writers’ room, if it was possible to leave out the absurd moment idea and still tell the story, the writers would kill that idea. “Overall, what we’re really trying to do is, ‘What is the most brutally realistic version of superheroes in the real world?’ with superheroes as insecure, f**ked up, and self-serving and selfish as real humans really would be if they had superpowers.”

Watch a sneak peek scene from The Boys below:

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The Boys will release its full first season Friday, July 26 on Amazon Prime Video. Follow The Boys on Twitter for the latest updates and news about the upcoming series.