As one-half of the creative team behind "The Boys," writer Garth Ennis knows a thing or two about what makes his superhero-policing black ops squad work on the page — and, as I discovered in an interview with the popular author, what makes them ripe for big-screen adaptation, too.
Comparing "The Boys" to his well-known Vertigo series that's had potential adaptations in the works for almost a decade now, the writer said the difference between "Preacher" and "The Boys" is that "once you start plucking enough of 'Preacher' to make a two-hour film, you have to leave so much out of it. And once you start taking bits out of it, the whole lot collapses."
"On the other hand, it would be quite easy to take 'The Boys' and take the core team of five and just have them as a team that surveils and occasionally beats up superheroes," he explained. "That's a simple enough concept that you could isolate it and put into a two-hour film as a self-contained story."
Created by Ennis and artist Darick Robertson, "The Boys" follows a small, government-sponsored group of agents whose job it is to police the world's population of superheroes. When the "supes" get out of line, The Boys put them back in by whatever means necessary — including blackmail, threats, and the occasional brutal assault.
A big-screen adaptation of the Dynamite Entertainment series has long been in the works, with "Anchorman" director Adam McKay currently in talks to direct the film, and "Clash of the Titans" screenwriters Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay drafting a screenplay.
Asked whether he's had much involvement in the project, Ennis said he hasn't spoken much with the screenwriting duo at this point, and he prefers it that way. The writer said he's content to focus his energies on the projects in which he's directly involved, such as the recently announced film based on "Crossed," his post-apocalyptic horror tale created with artist Jacen Burrows. Ennis is currently writing a second draft of the "Crossed" screenplay.
"I did have one initial conversation with the writers and we seem to be on the same page, but since then I’ve not really been involved," he said. "Unless I’m in something from the beginning, as with 'Crossed,' I tend to just sit back and just let whatever’s going to happen, happen. It’s crazy to worry about something you have no control over."
One of the main questions on fans' minds when it comes to "The Boys," however, is whether the real-life model for one of the series' main characters, actor Simon Pegg, will be cast as his mild-mannered comics counterpart, Wee Hughie.
"You never know," said Ennis. "That would be nice. The funny thing is, I met Simon Pegg, and he’s nearly as tall as me. He’s not a little guy. So, without allowing for the magic of the movies and so on, maybe they want someone shorter — or someone huge playing Butcher."
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