Sometimes, superheroes need to be taken down a peg.
During Friday’s New York Comic Con panel, Amazon’s upcoming series The Boys released its first teaser, which introduces viewers to Madelyn Stillwell of Vought International. Vought is the company behind a number of well-known superheroes, including The Seven. But as the end of the trailer shows, The Boys aren’t big fans of Vought.
According to the show’s official description, “The Boys centers on a group of vigilantes known informally as The Boys, who set out to take down corrupt superheroes with no more than their blue-collar grit and a willingness to fight dirty … It’s the powerless against the super powerful as The Boys embark on a heroic quest to expose the truth about The Seven, and Vought — the multi-billion dollar conglomerate that manages these superheroes.”
The show, which is based on the comic book by Garth Ennis and illustrated by Darick Robertson, comes from creator Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It stars Karl Urban, Chace Crawford, the recently announced Simon Pegg, Erin Moriarty, and more.
Billy Zane also makes a surprise cameo in the series. Kripke called him up because there’s a “Lindsay Lohan-esque superhero named Pop Claw” who stars in a film called Terminal Beauty 3. “We called Billy Zane and were like, ‘Billy Zane, can you fly out and film a scene in Terminal Beauty 3?'” he says. “And to his credit, Billy Zane was like, ‘I’m totally gonna fly out and film a scene from Terminal Beauty 3.”
With Preacher, another Ennis-based series executive produced by Rogen and Goldberg, the show was more of an “alt-reality,” as Goldberg put it at the Comic Con panel. With The Boys, they’re “making something based more in our reality and something is a little more easy to relate to.”
“The superhero metaphor,” Kripke adds, “works for certain politicians, it works for certain celebrities, it works for professional athletes, it works for our media-saturated culture. The world now reflects the world of The Boys way more than when Garth wrote it. And even though it’s a superhero-action show, I really truly believe we’re making the most topical show on television.”
In addition to the teaser, shown above, Amazon screened for Comic Con attendees a clip of Urban’s Billy Butcher, leader of The Boys, planning to have Hughie (Quaid) plant a bug in the headquarters of The Seven, in addition to a sizzle reel of footage to illustrate just how R-rated the show will be.
“This is like that scene in The Matrix,” Billy says in the footage. “Now, you could take the f—ing red pill, spend the rest of your life jacking off, crying into your chai tea green latte, what the f– or you could take the blue pill. Is it the blue pill? Anyway, take the other pill… just quit being a c— is what I’m saying.”
The Boys, which was given an eight-episode order at Amazon, is expected in 2019.
Updated with additional reporting by Nick Romano.