- Amazon’s new superhero TV series, “The Boys,” was originally set up at Cinemax, but was out of the network’s budget, according to showrunner Eric Kripke.
- The series was picked up by Amazon after being dumped by Cinemax.
- “They wanted something edgy that still appealed to a broader audience,” Kripke told Business Insider. “We were a perfect fit and checked all the boxes. And we were happy because they have that sweet, sweet Bezos money.”
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Amazon’s new superhero TV series, “The Boys,” could have been a much different show.
Showrunner Eric Kripke, who cocreated the series with Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, told Business Insider in an interview last month that the trio originally sold the pitch to and wrote the pilot for Cinemax. But that didn’t work out.
“They said it was way beyond their budget,” Kripke said. “To their credit, they let it go. They didn’t develop a watered-down version. They just couldn’t afford it.”
This was close to three years ago, when Amazon “had the appetite to make something noisy and different,” according to Kripke.
“Up to that point, I think their taste had skewed fairly indie, and they wanted something edgy that still appealed to a broader audience,” he said. “We were a perfect fit and checked all the boxes. And we were happy because they have that sweet, sweet Bezos money. Then we just kept developing more scripts and they picked us up for the season.”
The eight-episode first season, which premiered Friday, is based on the Dynamite Entertainment comic book of the same name by writer Garth Ennis and artist Darick Robertson. It follows a group of government operatives tasked with keeping a check on superheroes who abuse their powers.
To bring the comic to life required a larger budget than Kripke, who also created the CW series “Supernatural,” had ever worked with, he said.
“There’s a lot of production value, but in the same respect, there’s never enough money,” he said. “I think we have mostly movie-level effects and that didn’t come from all the money in the world to spend. That came from visual-effects supervisors driving the visual-effects companies nuts with 30 or 40 versions of every single shot until we got it exactly how we wanted it.”
He added, “We didn’t have anything close to a ‘Game of Thrones’ budget or anything like that. We’re not even half of what that number would be. But when you don’t have all the money in the world, you get there through blood and tears.”
“The Boys” has received positive reviews from critics, and has an 81% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. It was also the No. 1 show on television-tracking app TV Time’s “Shows on the Rise” list last week.
“The show’s best idea is its ultimate antagonist: The ceaseless working giant of corporate capitalism and the people who enable it,” Vulture wrote. “Those criminals are all too real, which is exactly The Boys’ point.”
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