- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
“You’re a f*cking disappointment,” a vengeful Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) tells offspring Homelander (Antony Starr) in the final battle of The Boys’ Season 3 finale.
More from Deadline
If those harsh cross-generational words from one despicable supe to another weren’t enough, the finale episode, titled “The Instant White-Hot Wild,” saw a body count that included Seven members and potential Veep candidates and an emerging death sentence for Butcher (Karl Urban) for his ingestion of V24. With Starlight Erin Moriarty) having outed Homelander as a murderous psycho in a previous episode, she now officially joins The Boys as a presidential election looms that could see a Vought operative inside the Oval Office.
With all that, and some Donald Trump, Gal Gadot and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just offstage, showrunner Eric Kripke sat down to peel back how the recently renewed Prime Video series based on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s hardcore comic got here and where it could go in Season 4. The Supernatural creator also offered up insights on Boys spinoffs Diabolical and Varsity, the fates of Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) and Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell), and the fallout from that exploding male organ in Season 3’s opener.
DEADLINE: So, the first thing I want to ask you is at the end of this third season, being in the unique position that you are of coming back for a fourth season if not more, and being one of the most successful shows out there, how does it feel to know that you’ll be perpetually known as the exploding dick guy?
KRIPKE: (Laughs) It actually brings me ridiculous amounts of pride.
You know, I showed it to my 15-year-old son and two things. One is when it was over, he looked at me and said what the f*ck is wrong with you, which I thought was great. Then the next day, he was like you know what, Dad, I was thinking about it, you’ve pulled off the biggest dick joke in history. I don’t know. I can’t think of a bigger, more expensive dick joke. So, you know, I think it could be something I’d be very comfortable with on my tombstone.
DEADLINE: Plus there’s, no pun intended, pay back. Unless I’m mistaken, it looks like in last month’s Herogasm episode, we came full circle there with Termite getting stepped on…
KRIPKE: Yeah. Yeah. We needed…
KRIPKE: (Laughs) Yeah. In many ways, The Boys is a moral universe and Termite sort of needed his just desserts.
DEADLINE: In terms of just desserts, that scene near the end of “The Instant White-Hot Wild” where Homelander kills the guy who threw the bottle at his son Ryan and the pro-supes crowd cheers, reminded me a lot of a certain former Celebrity Apprentice host who boasted that he could shoot someone dead on Fifth Avenue and not lose votes … lot bigger than dick jokes, no?
KRIPKE: It’s interesting that you bring up the quote about shooting a guy on Fifth Avenue because that was the original inspiration for that scene. Could we take Homelander so far as to literally kill somebody on Fifth Avenue and then be applauded for it? It’s funny. It’s like at the time we wrote it, we felt it was like a little satirically pushed, but it is true that the more awful politicians are behaving, you know, the more popular they’re becoming with their fan base.
Like there’s that guy …the name of the guy running for Congress escapes me but that campaign ad of him with a SWAT team of AR-15s.
DEADLINE: Eric Greitens, the former governor of Missouri…
KRIPKE: Yeah, him. Hunting people and offering his followers to get a license to hunt those people. It’s just things are getting scarier and scarier, and people seem to be applauding it. So, I think that is definitely the point we’re making.
I think a lot of the clues of where we’re going from here were dropped towards the last couple episodes. When The Boys started, the thing that the government or Trump or whoever would use to scare people was this idea of this outside other coming was new. Now, the caravan is coming over the border. The great replacement theory is here. At some point, it turned to who you should be afraid of is your neighbor and they’re going to rip you apart, because they support Hollywood pedophiles, or drinking adrenochrome. I mean, all that sh*t goes back to like old anti-Semitic baking babies’ blood in your matzah and sh*t. I mean, it’s at a level where it’s really almost medieval and scary. I mean, really scary.
DEADLINE: Take away the capes, and do you worry that reality will render The Boys bland?
KRIPKE: Any good comedy, any comedy worth making comes from darker emotions. It either comes from pain, or fear, or obsessing about the worst- case scenario. It sort of naturally goes there. The writers come in concerned about the ruling overturning Roe v. Wade ruling, the legacies of policing, fucking Marjorie Taylor Greene, or more. People come in and they come in angry and scared, and my response is invariably the same, which is well let’s figure out a way to write about it.
So, you know, I don’t think serious issues and taking the piss out of them are mutually exclusive. I think much like things like Catch 22 are sometimes the only rational reaction is to laugh at it, or else you’ll go insane.
DEADLINE: With that, you must be going insane from the sheer volume of The Boys as it becomes a franchise. You’ve already got Diabolical and now you’ve got Varsity coming – are we going to see a lot of crossovers with the mother show?
KRIPKE: There’s definitely crossover, and we’re doing our best to design a universe that sees some of the issues and storylines in Season 3 hand off to the first season in Varsity. Like there’s a presidential campaign happening in the background of that season, and there’s certain things that are happening at that school that are both in reaction to Season 3 of The Boys. There’s Soldier Boy, etcetera, but also some new storylines that are happening in that season of the spinoff that we have to pick up and take into Season 4 of the show.
DEADLINE: So, we’re almost going to get a seamless year of The Boys Universe on Amazon?
KRIPKE: I mean, it’s a very different corner of the world and it’s a different concern and thematic but it has been interesting. I give Kevin Feige a lot of credit because now that we’re dipping our toe into trying to build a universe and trying to do it well I mean, the amount that you end up trying to not just telling the same mega story, and it’s hard enough to keep one fucking show straight but to try to keep two shows straight, have them each be entertaining and their own animal but they still lock together like Voltron or something is a whole new layer of challenge that.
DEADLINE: It’s Kevin’s real superpower.
KRIPKE: Yes! The fact of how well he does it, I’m more impressed than I’ve ever been.
DEADLINE: In the MCU, almost no one ever really seems to die, there’s always an alternative universe where we see them again. So, in The Boys universe, Maeve is still alive, though under the radar, Soldier Boy is on ice, and Homelander killed Black Noir – or did he?
KRIPKE: We definitely won’t reach the end of the series without seeing Maeve again. I’m hoping we see Soldier Boy again.
You know, for instance for Maeve, we really felt like for Annie/Starlight to truly grow, we needed to take away her protector. It started to become sort of narratively difficult because every time she was really in a tight spot, you know, Maeve could show up and kick some ass, and we sort of need Annie to be in a position where she might be in real danger if she can’t figure it out for herself.
DEADLINE: And Black Noir?
KRIPKE: Here’s what I’ll say without spoiling anything, which is that particular individual who is Black Noir is dead. His organs are out all over the place, but when you have a completely silent, completely masked-clad hero, they’re reasonably easy to recast.
DEADLINE: The Boys has highly praised by Barak Obama as you and I have talked about before, and you do seem to be spreading the toxic political wealth here. In ambitious and now VP candidate Congresswoman Victoria Neuman, you have a character who is very clearly like an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez representation. In that, her secret powers and motivations are almost more evil than Homelander’s in the long term, and she’s now getting one step away from the presidency – in a slightly shifted adaptation from the comics
KRIPKE: I think if I could have done that character over again, I probably wouldn’t have designed her to look so much like AOC because I love AOC. I’m actually a fan.
It was more about coming up with what would be the character that the audience would least suspect. It was sort of the old classic Hollywood move of how do you make sure that no one thinks the butler did it. And so, that was the idea that if we create this character to be like this, no one will suspect her, but like everything in our show, it sort of carried a political weight, and in that case, it was a little inadvertent.
For us, she’s Stand Edgar, the Vought ex-CEO character played by Giancarlo Esposito, like she’s Stan Edgar’s daughter. So, she sort of represents sort of raw unchecked ambition without morality. How so many people are just about how do they get themselves to the top of the ladder without necessarily worrying over who they’re climbing over to get there, and that for us is more of like what she carries. So, all similarities to AOC are with my apologies.
DEADLINE: With that storyline and the rest of where this season left us, where are you leaning for Season 4?
KRIPKE: One of the end game storylines in the books that we always really responded to was this notion that the vice president was literally gunning for the president and that the president was in mortal danger. That if the vice president were to take over, they would by all intents and purposes be a Vought plant, which was sort of that lore between Dakota Bob and Neuman in the comics. We’ve been moving our chess pieces in place to play a version of that story because that does feel like the highest possible stakes, especially with Homelander becoming more and more untethered from reality.
DEADLINE: Speaking of becoming untethered from reality, your mocking of Gal Gadot’s much mocked pandemic “Imagine” sing-a-long in Season 3’s sixth episode was by far one of the best special effects around. You’ve got some great cameos for it, by the way, with Elizabeth Banks, Patton Oswalt, Josh Gad, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, Elizabeth Banks, Kumail Nanjiani, Rose Byrne, and even Chace Crawford’s The Deep and Black Noir bookending it.
That’s the thing about something like that is you have to meet the height of it to make it work, or it can end up more cringe worthy than the original…
KRIPKE: That’s exactly right.
I like the Wonder Woman movies and I understand and respect that she approached that with good intentions. But ,and I think she admits it now too, but it was like really tone deaf and the notion that like everyone is terrified and literally locked away but the sort of out of tune song from a bunch of celebrities is what you all need to be happy again. It was ultimately, a hit on the bubble of celebrity.
So, the next day, we were doing writer’s room on Zoom, and it was all we could talk about because it was just that notion from on high, I’m going to give you the gift of my celebrity, and the fact that frankly it was coming from Wonder Woman really got our attention. Said God, if a large portion of the show is also taking the piss out of celebrities, how do we not do this.
DEADLINE: How did you get everyone on board?
KRIPKE: The first thing was I had to get the rights from the John Lennon estate because we weren’t just doing it virally. We were really doing it. You know, I wrote them a letter and I was explaining the intent and the satire. I haven’t spoken to anyone there but the fact that they gave us permission to the song probably tells you a little something about how they felt about that viral video.
Then, we all just started reaching out to anyone and everyone we knew, and you know, Seth and Evan have a much better rolodex on that than I do. In the end, ultimately, it was like look, here we’re going to email you the lyrics to Imagine just exactly like they really did it, the real one. Take out your phone. film yourself. It’s for no money. Sign this release and let’s see what we get.
DEADLINE: Worked out pretty well.
KRIPKE: Oh yeah.
Best of Deadline