One of my favorite shows of 2019 was Amazon’s The Boys. Based on the comic book series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, the series takes place in a world just like ours except superheroes are real. However, while TV shows and movies portray superheroes as either good or bad, in the world of The Boys, most of them are tragically flawed and often anything but heroic. Trust me, you have never seen a show like The Boys and you’ll be constantly picking your jaw off the floor while watching the eight-episode first season. The series’ excellent main cast includes Karl Urban, Karen Fukuhara, Laz Alonso, Tomer Capon, Jack Quaid, Anthony Starr, Dominique McElligott, Jesse T. Usher, and Chance Crawford.
With The Boys season 2 premiering on Amazon September 4th, I recently landed an extended interview with showrunner Eric Kripke. During the wide-ranging conversation, Kripke discussed the challenges of making the first season, why they made sure to always include surprises the audience wouldn’t expect, whether he pitched Amazon on a five-year plan, shared some advice Sam Raimi gave him, revealed why he doesn’t want to do more than eight episodes a season, and so much more. In addition, he shared a number of cool things fans can look forward to in season two. Here are some of the highlights:
- Amazon gave them a bigger budget. While you might think the bigger budget is all action or VFX, Kripke told us it’s more than that. He said, “They goosed up our budget a bit. That time buys you the ability…and it doesn’t just mean huge action scenes. It does mean some of those. We have some huge sequences. There are larger sea mammals. There is some bigger stuff for sure. But there is also a lot more intense stuff and scenes that were really difficult for the actors emotionally and require a bit more time. It’s not just the visuals that are epic; I think the emotions are a little more epic this season and that just takes some TLC with the actors.”
They had an extra month for shooting season two compared to season one. You might be wondering what an extra month got them. Kripke tells us, “To Amazon and Sony’s credit, they had an appetite to see a bigger scope of the show in season two. They felt like when you’re in this premium television space and you’re competing, especially as a genre show, and you’re competing against these huge shows you have to be able to walk the walk in terms of it’s a show that has some epic style to it. I said absolutely. Totally. The funny thing about filmmaking is none of it is rocket science; it’s just time and money. You can figure out anything with good, smart people around you that are smarter than you, time and money. The extra month was mostly we moved the shooting schedule from nine days to twelve days.” In comparison, Supernatural shoots for eight days.
- The season two directors are Philip Sgriccia, Alex Graves, Sarah Boyd, Stefan Schwartz, Frederick E.O. Toye, and Batan Silva.
- Kripke says season 2 “didn’t need to go bigger, it needed to go deeper,” and how there’s a lot more “intense stuff.”
- The length of the season two episodes are 55-65 minutes each.
- Giancarlo Esposito has an expanded role in season two as Vought CEO Stan Edgar. Kripke told us, “We really expand his role. With Elisabeth Shue gone we really needed a character to represent the true monster of the show which is Voigt. He does that with his icy, chilling demeanor. I’ve loved him ever since I worked with him on Revolution. He’s one of my favorite actors and I was thrilled and honored that he was open to coming back and playing again.”
They have a lot more ambitious visual effects in season 2.
- In season two episode two, Karl Urban’s Billy Butcher rejoins the group after going MIA since the season one finale. Episode two originally showed what Butcher (Urban) had been up to but they cut it due to pacing. However, the footage isn’t gone, as Kripke tells us they used the footage to create a short film called “Butcher” which reveals what happened during his missing couple of weeks. The show will reference what happened in the short film so unless you watch it some of what they talk about won’t make sense. The plan is to release the short film after season two starts streaming.
- Kripke reveals he’s been talking to Jeffrey Dean Morgan about joining The Boys season three. He tells us, “There’s one role we’re already talking about. He has to, uh, we have to like coordinate. Because you know, he’s on The Walking Dead, so he has another home. But we already talked about one role, and there might be a potential other that we’re talking about. But we are, just this past week we were literally texting back and forth about trying to figure out how to get him on the show. I don’t think it’s a done deal yet, but the will is there, and we’re both talking about it.”
For more on the making of The Boys and what you can look forward to in season two, check out the video below. As usual, below the video is a listing of everything we talked about. Again, The Boys is now streaming on Amazon with season two launching on September 4th.
- How did he first realize that people were really responding to the material?
- What was the biggest challenge to get on-screen in season 1?
- The original, crazier, more elaborate dolphin sequence.
- How much the writing team peppers in major curveballs during the actual scripting process.
- How the writing team figured out the arcs for a cast of characters that exist in a grey area.
- Did he have a five-year plan when he pitched Amazon on the series?
- What did the extra month of principal photography afford on season 2?
- How season 2 “didn’t need to go bigger, it needed to go deeper,” and how there’s a lot more “intense stuff.”
- The advice Sam Raimi gave him which is “You know what filmmaking is? It’s creating characters you love and then torturing them.”
- Who is directing season 2, and why Kripke had to step back from directing this year.
When will they announce a season three?
- Why he wouldn’t want a season of The Boys to be more than eight episodes.
- Details on the new character Stormfront, a Supe played by Aya Cash.
- How the blood and guts of season 2 compares to season 1.
- Where are they in post-production of season two?
- Did they made any costumes changes due to actor requests?
- How Giancarlo Esposito’s character fits into season 2.
- How serious is Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s desire to be in the next season of The Boys?
- Do they have any deleted scenes that still haven’t been seen?
- How a series of deleted scenes became a short film following Karl Urban’s Butcher.
- How they used the VFX in the first season to help tell the story and what they were able to do in season 2. Teases more ambitious visual effects in season 2.
For more on The Boys, click here for all our previous coverage.