'The Boys' Cast Its Superheroes Before the Actual Good Guys, Here's Why
And how it may make the show even better.
The Boys is like nothing you’ve ever seen before, and that’s a direct quote from series star Jack Quaid, who plays Hughie, one of the titular Boys in the upcoming Amazon series. Based on a comic book series so dark and disturbing it was initially canceled after six issues, the superhero parody focuses on a CIA squad tasked with keeping tabs on a team of extremely corrupt Avengers/-style superheroes who indulge in drugs, prostitutes, and worse.
“Some scenes are lifted directly from the comics,” Quaid tells Inverse during a roundtable discussion at New York Comic Con. “Scenes where you’ll be like. ‘I’ve never seen a superhero do that. I’ve never seen a human being do that.’”
But before the series, which premieres in 2019 on Amazon, could cast Quaid and the rest of The Boys, it needed its group of superheroes. It might seem odd to cast the bad guys first, but the reason why is surprisingly simple: It takes a lot more time to design those super suits.
“The super suits had to be as good as any other show or movie,” showrunner Eric Kripke says. “We knew the show the show would succeed or fail based on the first photo.”
So the producers went to a costume designer who told them it would take six months and over a $1 million to get the job done right. In the end, each member of the superhero group The Seven (try to guess how many there are) is wearing roughly $250,000 every time they suit up.
“Each suit is a quarter million dollar suit that only they can wear and fits only to their body,” Kripke says.
But beyond the issue of cast, simply casting each member of The Seven that far ahead of time meant shifting the process in an unexpected way.
“We hadn’t cast any of The Boys,” the showrunner says, “but we had to cast The Seven first. Normally you cast your heroes before your villains, but we had to cast the villains first.”
In the end, that shuffle may be one of the best things that could have happened to The Boys. Casting the bad guys early on gave them the series creators more time to develop those characters based on the actors they chose. So the end result isn’t the two-dimensional villains we see far too often in superhero blockbusters.
“All the villains are rounded,” says executive producer Evan Goldberg. “Not one note superheroes.”
When The Boys airs next year we’ll see whether it can stand up to the impressive depravity of the original series, but based on the initial teaser trailer released at NYCC, at least they got the suits right.