Amazon is set to bring Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s The Boys to television, and will do so with Karl Urban in a lead role. The series has been in the works for some time now, with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg first looking to Cinemax as a potential home for the hyper-violent superhero series. A lot has changed since then, with Amazon stepping up to deliver the series and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke jumping on board as creator and showrunner.
Since the announcement The Boys was headed to Amazon to not only take advantage of the studio’s incredibly deep pockets, but also the freedom from restrictions, as far as mature content is concerned, things have been moving at a steady pace, with a number of casting announcements being made. Among them are Suicide Squad’s Karen Fukuhara, as well as Laz Alonso, Chase Crawford, Erin Moriarity, and Survivor's Remorse star Jessie T. Usher. Additionally, the series brought on former Banshee lead actor Antony Starr as Homelander and Dominique McElligott (Hell on Wheels) as Queen Maeve.
As reported by THR, Urban will play Billy Butcher, the leader of The Boys and arguably the most notable character in the series next to Wee Hughie, who will be played by Jack Quaid (Logan Lucky). Billy is a typical Ennis creation through and through. He's violent and pragmatic, and with a fittingly foul mouth to go along with his burly and terrifying demeanor. Adding Urban to the role not only adds some significant star power to the series, but it should make fans eager to see how Kripke’s take on The Boys will turn out.
This will be the first television role for Urban since his time on FOX’s one-and-done sci-fi procedural Almost Human. The actor mentioned an interest in reprising his role as Judge Dredd for Netflix’s upcoming Mega City One series, but so far that hasn’t materialized into anything. Production schedules on series for streaming services being what they are, however, his role as Billy Butcher doesn’t necessarily preclude him from being involved in another series, even if its at a competing service like Netflix.
The possible return of Judge Dredd aside, Urban’s casting in The Boys certainly raises the profile of the series considerably. While there are plenty of recognizable faces already lined up for big roles, Urban’s association with massively popular franchises, like The Lord of the Rings, The Bourne Supremacy, as well as the recent Star Trek films, brings a new level of star power to the upcoming show. With the cast nearly in place and Kripke getting his writers’ room in order, Amazon will be set to subvert the superhero genre in a big way come 2019.