The last we heard about the film adaptation for Garth Ennis’ bloody series The Boys, Anchorman director Adam McKay had brought the project over to Paramount where it was being developed further. That was eight months ago. Collider spoke with the screenwriters for the film, Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay, about their script and the hold up on production.
“I think there are some machinations going on right now, which is exciting, to finalize something with the movie,” said Manfredi. “But I think that The Boys is so specific. It’s another thing that Neal Moritz is producing and something that we all agreed on right away was, you can’t take The Boys and make it something it isn’t. You can’t take what this book is and just kind of spin off somewhere random with it, because it is so specific. We were like, if we can write the script the way we believe it should be just as fans of the book, then we would do it. To their credit, everyone else involved was like, “Yeah, we get it. It has to be hardcore.” And when Adam came on, it was the same thing. He knows exactly what he wants to do. I feel like he’s going to do the movie in a way that completely honors how freaking bananas The Boys is. Because it is, and in an amazing way.”
When asked how faithful the pair were to the source material, Manfredi ellaborated.
“We were pretty faithful to it, we really were….There were certain departures. We took stuff – we moved ahead a little bit, we took stuff out, mined stuff from – it wasn’t just issues 1-4. It’s funny, right before we started writing our first draft we spoke to Garth Ennis on the phone, we were just talking to him, we had some questions about where it was going, and what he thought about this and that and he was just so gracious and also completely not precious about it. He was like, “just do what you want.””
Phil Hay mentioned that one of the major things keeping the film from going into production is the scope of the film. Making a “Hard R” movie with a big budget is a huge risk on the part of the studio, and they’re taking that into account before an official greenlight.
“If this was gonna be $5 million you could make it hard R, you could just do whatever you want. But if you read book one, there’s a budget for it. There’s a certain budget that, in order to do it right, it has to be a certain level. Then it becomes, what is the cost and is that feasible for the storyline?”
“If the movie The Boys gets made, it will be made the right way,” Manfredi said. “Because Adam’s not gonna make it the wrong way. And that’s good news. I think we’d all like that. We’re going to run that movie up the flagpole and try to make it exactly the right way. If it happens, we’ll all be thrilled.”
Check back here for more updates on the film as we learn them.
The Boys revolves around the government’s decision to have the CIA monitor all superheroes using a Black Ops team called “The Boys” and what happens when a Scottish conspiracy nut named Wee Hughie, whose girlfriend was killed by a superhero, is inducted to join the group when they’re reformed to take down rogue superheroes who have gotten out of control.