‘The Boys’ Co-Creator Says Film Trilogy Version From Adam McKay Got Axed in Pre-MCU Hollywood, First Movie Was Fully Written: It Was ‘Really Cool Stuff’

“The Boys” co-creator and illustrator Darick Robertson recently confirmed to Rolling Stone that an early attempt to bring the comic book series to screen was through a film trilogy from director Adam McKay. This was back in 2008 before the launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe helped turn comic book movies into the most profitable genre at the box office.

It all started with Seth Rogen and his longtime collaborator Evan Goldberg got their hands on the first issue of “The Boys” comic book.

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“We were like, ‘Holy shit, this is fucking crazy,’ ” Rogen said. “And that week we went to Sony and we’re like, ‘You guys should make this.’ ”

As reported by Rolling Stone: “Sony did buy the rights to the property, which went through a series of incarnations over a decade before ending up back in the hands of Rogen, Goldberg, and [showrunner Eric] Kripke. For a while, director Adam McKay was trying to turn ‘The Boys’ into a trilogy of movies — the first one went as far as a finished screenplay and even demo animatics of scenes — but he wasn’t able to get it greenlighted in a pre-MCU Hollywood.”

“I wouldn’t change how it worked out,” Robertson said, “because the show is amazing. But [McKay] was doing really cool stuff. It just came down to it being 2008, not 2018. I just don’t think they were ready for it yet.”

“The Boys” would finally get its screen adaptation as a television series from “Supernatural” creator Eric Kripke. Rogen and Goldberg are producers. Now in its fourth season, “The Boys” is one of the most popular shows to come from Amazon Prime Video.

Robertson revealed to Rolling Stone that an early concept for “The Boys” comic books was unworkable: “He imagined the Boys as a team of anti-superhero investigators in the actual DC Comics universe, where the stories would imply, without ever stating outright, that characters like Superman and Batman were secretly evil and perverse.”

The idea transformed into creating new superheroes that satirized existing DC Comics characters. Homelander was modeled off of Superman, the Deep was a spin on Aquaman and so on. An early iteration of Homelander was actually a superhero called Liberator, whose costume Robertson remembered having “very obvious nationalistic, Nazi-referencing symbolism.”

“As he evolved, I put him in the American cape, because I love that line about how the last refuge of a scoundrel is patriotism,” Robertson added.

New episodes of “The Boys” Season 4 debut on Thursdays on Prime Video. The streamer has renewed the series for a fifth and final season.

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