The actor likens his fake superhero blockbuster to Die Hard and Red Dawn.

In the ultra-capitalist world of The Boys, every superhero also headlines their own franchise. Homelander (Antony Starr), for example, is the face of blockbusters that include Homelander: Origins, Homelander: Rise of a Hero, Homelander: Darkest Day, and Homelander: Brightest Night. Heck, even Termite (Brett Geddes), who did that thing in the season 3 premiere, is the star of rom-com Pocket Romance. Jensen Ackles' Soldier Boy is no different.

While most of these fake movies within the show exist as posters and ads hidden in various backgrounds, Ackles tells EW he shot "much more than just a fake promo" for Red Thunder, his Soldier Boy movie. "We filmed scenes."

The actor explains he worked with Philip Sgriccia, a director and executive producer on The Boys, to shoot material for Red Thunder, which fans can glimpse in some of the season 3 trailers. We know from the show's fictional web series Seven on 7 that the movie was released in 1983 and is available to watch on monolithic streaming platform Vought+.

Jensen Ackles The Boys Season 3
Jensen Ackles' Soldier Boy smirks in 'The Boys' season 3.
| Credit: Prime Video/Youtube

"It's like Die Hard or the original Red Dawn," Ackles says of its plot. "It's that kind of like, 'We're under siege,' and it's the '80s. It's a bad action movie, is basically what it ended up being. I remember thinking, 'Oh God, this is terrible acting,' and Phil kept encouraging that while we were filming."

Later, after Sgriccia showed Ackles a cut of Red Thunder footage over dinner, all the actor would say is, "I can't believe with did that."

Ackles shot even more in-world material as Soldier Boy for the show. That includes a 1984 public service announcement that Amazon Prime Video released on YouTube in the lead-up to the season 3 premiere.

"Did you know that drugs and drug-related crime have become a nation-wide problem?" Soldier Boy poses in the PSA, which you can view below. "All across America, drugs are destroying peoples' lives, but you don't have to be a superhero to fight back because your super power is just saying no. So when someone offers you drugs, you tell 'em Soldier Boy said taking drugs is not cool and anyone who does is a loser."

And here's some (NSFW) outtakes.

Showrunner Eric Kripke has also teased a Soldier Boy appearance on a musical variety show of some kind. So we have that to look forward to as well.

The first three episodes of The Boys season 3 reveal that Soldier Boy has been presumed dead for decades after a mission-gone-wrong with Contra rebels, the Sandinistas, and the Russians. But, as we already know, the superhero's story is far from over.

In conversation with Kripke and his fellow cast members for EW's Around the Table, Ackles says Soldier Boy "has always been the top dog and has always been the alpha. I guess he's sort of been sent out to pasture and now he's back. I like to say he's the old lion who's coming back into the cage to mix it up with the new lion."

The Boys season 3 will premiere its fourth episode this Friday on Prime Video.

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