By now, every fan of “The Boys” knows that the upcoming third season of Amazon Prime Video’s very adult superhero series will feature its most adult storyline ever: “Herogasm.” But according to showrunner Eric Kripke, this already assumed to be incredibly raunchy episode of the show has proved to be so graphic in its initial takes that if he were to air that as the final product, it would surely be X-rated.
The episode is based on an infamous off-shoot installment of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic book series “The Boys,” from which the Amazon show is adapted. The arc, written by Ennis and illustrated by John McCrea, was a takeoff on comic book crossovers and featured Homelander (played by Antony Starr on “The Boys” TV series) and the other supes leaving Earth under the guise that they are going to fight an alien threat. But instead of doing that, the group goes to an island resort where “Herogasm,” a weekend full of sex and drugs, is happening. Butcher (Karl Urban), Hughie (Jack Quaid) and The Boys show up to the event to dig up some dirt on Vought.
“I think when I first pitched it, I said, ‘Guys, here’s the episode and it’s called ‘Herogasm.’ And Andie Green and Katie Graves and the rest of the Amazon executives, I think there was just sort of a sigh of resignation, you know? They’re just like resigned,” Kripke told TheWrap last week, following the announcement that “The Boys” had received five Emmy nominations for its second season, including Outstanding Drama Series. “They’re like, ‘Look, you’ve really proven yourself over two years. We knew it was only a matter of time.’ It was like my son getting a driver’s license. Like it’s going to happen, I’m going to have to just get my head around it and go along for the ride. And so they’ve let us do it.”
But with great power comes Kripke’s great responsibility to decide what should actually make it into the final cut of the episode, which is written by Jessica Chou and will air as the sixth hour of Season 3.
“I mean, those dailies are insane,” Kripke said. “Like, if we showed everything we saw in the dailies, we for sure would be rated X. I can’t even get my head around what we’ve filmed. We’ll make sure that we’re walking the right line and that we’re outrageous, but not exploitive, of course. So there probably will be a lot of self-censorship. But anyone who is a fan of the books and that particular volume of ‘Herogasm,’ I can just tell you, you’re definitely going to get the full ‘Herogasm’ experience. There’s just no question.”
“The Boys” Season 3, which is in production in Toronto, stars Karl Urban, Antony Starr, Jack Quaid, Erin Moriarty, Laz Alonso, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara, Dominique McElligott, Jessie T. Usher, Chace Crawford and Nathan Mitchell, along with series newcomer Jensen Ackles joining as Soldier Boy.
While we had Kripke, we also spoke with him about “Seven on 7,” the new digital series that Amazon Prime Video has launched ahead of “The Boys” Season 3 — which does not yet have a premiere date, to be clear — to give fans some new in-universe content. Kripke says that while this is not essential viewing, he recommends it to fans who want to see “how the world of the show is changing” ahead of the third season.
“First of all, it’s Amazon and their department and it was their idea. So all the credit in the world to the marketing team there for coming up with it,” Kripke said. “And they’re writing it and I’m just giving notes. It definitely provides backstory and information that will enhance the viewing when you see it. It’s all real, canon stuff.”
Kripke says there’s also extra info in there that you won’t learn from the series alone, like a story point he forgot to include for Black Noir (Mitchell) in Season 2 that he asked the “Seven on 7” writer, Matt Motschenbacher, group creative director for the Amazon marketing team, to get into one of the episodes so fans are aware of it before Season 3.
“So the fans should totally watch it. It will tell you, in real time, how the world of the show is changing heading up to Season 3,” Kripke says.
And, finally, while we don’t have an update on “The Boys’s” untitled supe-college spinoff, which is still in the development stage at Amazon, we can tell you that Kripke says Season 3 of “The Boys” will be dropping breadcrumbs about the potential series.
“Because now we know, we’ve written in a few references and we’re starting to bring it out,” “The Boys” showrunner says. “And we’re looking at, because there’s like a part of ‘The Boys’ that is like the commercials from ‘Saturday Night Live,’ like sometimes we just flip to these little ads or moments, and we’re looking at maybe, if we can, getting some references to the spinoff in some of those as well. So we’ve made subtle additions and we’re looking at it some more.”
Readers can find more from TheWrap’s interview with Kripke, which covers Ackles’ first days shooting as Soldier Boy, here.