While we get ready to bask in the brutal, bloody and bonkers bonanza that is season two of Amazon’s hit superhero satire The Boys, viewers can kick back, relax and rest assured that season three has already been greenlit.
Antony Starr, who takes centre stage as the megalomaniac Homelander (an evil Captain America type), could barely contain his excitement when he gave Yahoo Movies UK a sneak peek at what lies ahead for our narcissistic superhero.
“There are certain things that come up in season two where I was like ‘wow I had no idea we was going to do that’ but we did it and it’s some of my favourite stuff in the show,” Starr tells Yahoo.
Anyone who thought the first season pushed the boat out on jaw-dropping crazy action is in for a treat with the next instalment of The Boys which lands on Amazon Prime Video on 4 September. And the mad cap mayhem doesn’t stop there as Starr teased season three will continue to keep pushing those dark and deranged boundaries further still.
Read more: Everything new on Amazon in September
“We could go anywhere with this character but the only thing I know based on what happens in season two and where we end up and where the character ends up in season two it led to a conversation with Eric Kripke, our boss, and after I said to him ‘what are you going to do with Homelander in season three?’ and he said “I’m not going to tell you a lot because we haven’t completely fleshed it out yet, but what I can say is two words. HOMICIDAL MANIAC. And I’m like ‘Oh OK’.
Read our full interview with Antony Starr, in which he discusses The Seven facing off against The Avengers and Justice League, what the show says about 2020 and what he thinks about those Wolverine casting rumours…
Yahoo Movies UK: Let’s talk The Boys S2 then, how much of the emergency brace position do we need to adopt?
Antony Starr: Good question. It’s funny, because in S1 a lot of what Homelander done was so averse, like the plane sequence for example. That was so big and so huge and Season 2 was interesting because when I spoke to [showrunner] Eric Kripke he didn’t want the show to get bigger, he didn’t want the show to try and outdo ourselves, but he wanted it to be deeper from a character perspective and he really honoured that, and so I think that Season 2 is going to be very difficult, right?
Because it’s the difficult second album after you’ve had a successful first album, and he was very conscious of that and I think somehow, he was true to his word that it’s a deeper season. And for Homelander there’s slightly less of those big set pieces like the plane sequence from Season 1 but what is there is all the more deserving because it’s all internal, and more psychological, and a little more disturbed, I think. It’s less obvious what’s going on and it’s a lot darker in that way. So I think my take would be that, yes, it was a physical brace position for Season 1 but this one is an emotional and psychological brace position.
With shows like this you never know how they’ll resonate with an audience, so how surprised and pleased was you with the response to the first season?
I think I can speak for everyone, I’m confident I can speak for everyone, that we are over the moon. Like you say, you never know what’s going to come out from it. You can have the best chemistry set and the best group of people on paper and for some reason the energy just isn’t there, and you don’t get the right vibe on set, and you don’t gel. But I think during the shooting of S1 we all had a great day first and foremost and when you’re having fun on set usually it translates to people having fun watching it. So it felt like we was onto a good thing with S1 but then you never know so it was a real relief when S1 finally aired and people were attracted to it.
What are your hopes and dreams for Homelander beyond S2? The sky is the limit for a show like this right?
It’s really difficult for me to guess where things are going to go because there are certain things that come up in S2 where I was like ‘wow I had no idea we was going to do that’. But we did it and it’s some of my favourite stuff in the show.
We could go anywhere with this character but the only thing I know – based on what happens in S2 and where we end up and where the character ends up in S2 – it led to a conversation with Eric Kripke, our boss, and after I said to him what are you going to do with Homelander in S3 and he said “I’m not going to tell you a lot because we haven’t completely fleshed it out yet, but what I can say is two words: ‘HOMICIDAL MANIAC’. And I’m like ‘Oh OK!’.
Read more: The Boys a huge hit for Amazon
So good lord knows where we are going to go with that, but given that Homelander has already been a homicidal maniac for two seasons and now is the time when Eric is mentioning those two words, I have no idea, but I think it’s going to be fairly grim whatever happens in S3.
It's impossible to not contrast and compare the seven to other superhero team ups: So if there was a royal rumble style battle between The Seven, The Avengers and the Justice League... who's walking away victorious at the end?
Not that I’m biased but I think that I would have to end up saying Homelander, and the reason being that your average superhero is hamstrung to a certain extent to their extremely rigid code of conduct and ethics and the necessity for them to be morally correct and we are not morally correct on The Boys.
So ultimately what would happen is good old Homie would fight incredibly dirty and do whatever he needs to do to take everyone down… that would be my estimated guess. (Laughter)
The show is great escapism fun, but what do you think it does say about the world today that it takes shows like this with such a heightened and crazy reality to make us go ‘Wow. That was nuts!’ I mean 2020 in particular has set a seriously high bar for you guys to follow right?
All I can say is that the timing is surreal. The scripts were written mid-2018 and then we shot it 2019. And now all of a sudden those dormant issues have really come to the forefront now and in everyone’s consciousness.
I’m in LA and it’s very apparent that there is a huge movement going on and of course the show, S2, is very reflective of what is going on out there and vice versa. So I mean, I don’t know how that timing works out but I do think it’s about time these conversations were had and some of the cloud was blown away on these issues. I think that a show like ours is a good place to deal with these things like race issues and gun culture because one there is, well it’s pretty unambiguous that we are not for those issues.
Nobody is on the side of racism or killing people so I think that anything that isn’t promoting the horrible ideals that are associated with those issues I think it’s a good time to have them out there. So whilst the timing of it is surreal I’m all in favour of it.
Now as we all know the internet loves to talk casting rumours... Looks like both you and your fellow New Zealand co-star Karl Urban have been talked about as a potential Wolverine as and when that gets recast. What do you think about that?
It’s hilarious, someone asked me if they offered it would you? And I went ‘Well like yeah!’ You know every actor in the world, if they were offered Wolverine, who is such an iconic character ,then of course everyone would say ‘yes’. And that has snowballed into a rumour that I am actively trying to pursue it. Look there’s big characters, there are big iconic characters and everyone wants to play them and I would be lying if I said I didn’t. So like I said everyone wants to play those characters so who knows.
Are there ever moments when you're reading the script or even suited up on set and you're like ‘No way... Really? We're going to do that? And they're going to actually let us film it?’
The best example I have of that is S2 and it’s the safest one, and I gotta be honest there’s a lot of moments like that, but the safest one I can mention because it’s already been screened and teased in the trailers, is The Deep (Chace Crawford) riding on the back of the whale, and then the speedboat.
Well ‘the speedboat’ and ‘Lucy the whale’, I read that and I thought it was so insane and I wondered if we weren’t perhaps pushing things a little too far. But you know it is nothing to do with me and you gotta trust the powers that be and that is now hands down my favourite scene from S2.
Read more: Jensen Ackles joins The Boys S3
I think it is utterly hysterical and absurd and also a very poignant moment for The Boys and The Deep who is trying to get back into the Seven so I’d use that as an example but what I would say is there’s so many batshit scenes coming up in S2 that it’s hard to pick from the litter of mongrel dog scenes that we’ve got on this.
The first three episodes of The Boys season two will launch on Friday 4 September, with new episodes available each Friday following, culminating in an epic season finale on Friday 9 October.