The Boys season 2: Exploding whales, new characters and lots of blood - Five secrets we learned at Comic-Con
Writer Eric Kripke and cast members including Erin Moriarty and Karl Urban reveal what fans can expect when the highly anticipated season 2 starts on Amazon Prime Video.
The superhero satire became one of the biggest surprise hits of 2019, blending social and political commentary with some of the craziest TV scenes ever allowed on screen.
An irreverent take on what happens when superheroes - who are as popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians and as revered as Gods - abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good.
And who are The Boys? Led by Billy the Butcher (Karl Urban), The Boys are a powerless group of rebels who embark on a heroic quest to expose the truth about the most powerful ‘Supes’ in the world, The Seven, and the corporate empire backing them, Vought.
The show proved so popular Prime Video has given season 2 a weekly After Show (Inside the Boys, presented by Aisha Tyler) and season 3 has already been confirmed.
And if you thought the first season was surprising, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Writer Eric Kripke and the cast, including Erin Moriarty, Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr and newcomer Aya Cash, took part in a special Comic-Con 2020 panel where they revealed what we can expect from the Supes and The Boys this year...
One of the most talked about and memorable scenes in season one involed Chace Crawford’s hapless superhero The Deep and an unfortunate incident with a dolphin.
Taking the idea of making everything in season two bigger and crazier, the first clip for season two reveals how the creators have taken that literally, replacing a dolphin with a whale.
“Hands down that’s the weirdest thing a lot of us have done in our careers,” said Karl Urban.
“The scene for a lot of us - apart from Jack [Quaid] - it was quite a lot of fun to shoot.
“The way we shot that, we had all of us in the boat and we were actually doing it.
“You never get to do anything fir real anymore it’s usually all green screen, but we were out there on the water doing horrendous speeds and having fun. Except for Jack.
“We actually end up in the whale and it was a pretty surreal experience. It was a hot and stinky experience in the Canadian summer.”
Writer Eric Kripke said: “It was seriously expensive that whale. But it makes the scene work because they’re involved in this real thing and inside its belly. It’s not just CGI.
“It was one of my prouder moments as a producer.”
Jack Quaid, who plays Hughie Campbell, joked: “The whole cast made a big deal out of me complaining that I was covered in blood in the first season. Nobody is talking about that now. It’s not pretty!”
New political targets in season two
One of the most surprising parts of The Boys first season was how on the money it was when it came to social commentary.
Starlight’s (Erin Moriarty) treatment by The Seven and Vought felt particularly timely with the #MeToo movement and the show managed to make some serious jabs at the American weapons industry.
Eric Kripke confirmed that the new episodes would maintain the same ethos and have some new targets.
“We try to make this not only the most realistic superhero show, but also the most up to date commentary on the world we’re living in.
“It’s this strange blur of politics, celebrity, media and social media manipulation and it says so much about the world we’re in.
“I would say in season two, we continue that and make it even more edgy. We’re going after white supremacy in season two. We’re going after white nationalism in season two. We’re going after systemic racism in season two. All those effing things suck.
“It’s always strong characters first, madness second and if we can sneak in some discussions about the real world, we do that too.”
Big decisions for Billy the Butcher
Despite his famous season one speech about The Boys being like the Spice Girls and needing each other, it was Karl Urban’s foul-mouthed, brute Billy that let down the group.
Billy’s relationship with The Boys will once again be tested in season 2 as begins a new personal journey.
“The end of season one was a real game-changer for Butcher. It changes everything going forward for him. If season one was blind revenge for the perceived death of his wife, season two is about getting her and saving her.
“The moral question is how far is Butcher willing to go and what is he willing to sacrifice. We saw in season 1, Butcher would turn his back on The Boys if he could inflict some pain on The Seven.
“There is some evolution in season 2, where he has tough choices to make about getting close to Becca and whether he will again jeopardise his team.”
New relationships for Starlight
Erin Moriarty fans will be intrigued to hear that her morally conflicted superhero Starlight will be part of an unlikely double act this year.
“Season two has some interesting pair ups. I really enjoyed getting to work with Erin and Starlight in season two,” said Urban.
“Season two really throws together unlikely combinations so you can see how they bounce together and connect.”
Moriarty said that Starlight will “step into her power” in season 2, but is still facing tricky dilemmas about the actions of Vought and The Seven.
“Her intention is the same as season one, episode one, she wants to be the best superhero in the world. Her morals are intact, but she’s forced to adapt to the dark world she’s exposed to,” she said.
“And that’s where really interesting storylines come in, because she has to collaborate with characters you wouldn’t expect.”
And what about fans hoping for romance between Starlight and Hughie?
“They have all this underlying emotion and tension, there is chemistry there and it’s confusing,” she said.
“She has her heartbroken by everyone she loved and all the systems she believed in. So she builds up a thick wall to compensate. At the beginning of season two, the wall is so thick, she’s a little bit inaccessible.”
A big new arrival
Fans of the comic book series are very excited about the arrivals of Aya Cash as Stormfront.
A new addition to The Seven after the events of season 1, it sounds like her character will be big trouble for her fellow Supes and The Boys.
Talking about the show, Cash said: “What I love about it is that it’s so topical. It allows us to look at real issues but from a distance. Often when you talk about current events, you take things too personally.”
On the subject of playing a villain, she added: “There were really hard moments playing someone I violently disagree with, but my job as an actor is to find the humanity and go to the ugly gross side of ourselves.
“It’s Eric’s job to decide what happens to that character. He allows for her humanity and also, hopefully eventually punishing her.”
The Boys season 2 will premiere the first three episodes on Friday, September 4, 2020.
New episodes will be available each Friday, culminating in an epic season finale on October 9.