If superhero fatigue is setting in, The Boys makes for the perfect antidote. Ultraviolent, absurd and often disturbing, Prime Video’s gripping drama is a satirical takedown of squeaky clean heroes like Captain America and Superman.
- READ MORE: ‘The Boys’ season three review: bold and batshit return for the most chaotic superheroes around
Based on the comic series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, it gives as much screentime to its bloody punch-ups as it does Karl Urban’s wonky cockney accent. As its third season comes to a close, here’s everything we know about the fourth…
Has The Boys season four been confirmed?
In a statement, show creator Eric Kripke said: “Speaking for the cast and crew, we’re so grateful to Sony, Amazon, and most of all the fans for embracing the show and allowing us to make more.
On behalf of the cast & crew, THANK YOU for embracing our fucked up little show & making it a hit beyond our wildest dreams. We love #TheBoys & it means the world that you do too. Love you all. Now back to work writing #TheBoysTV Season 4. (📷from 🇧🇷) @TheBoysTV @PrimeVideo @SPTV pic.twitter.com/dFJfQWoW7E
— Eric Kripke (@therealKripke) July 10, 2022
“We’re thrilled to continue Butcher and the Boys’ fight against Homelander and The Seven, as well as comment on the insane world we’re living in. Also, this is the first time in history that exploding genitalia has led to further success.”
Has a release date been announced?
Not officially, but there’s a pattern
A release date has yet to be announced, although it’s likely we could be seeing the fourth batch of episodes in 2023.
There was roughly a year gap between the first and second season in July 2019 and September 2020 respectively. The third season, subject to delays due to the pandemic, was released two years later in June 2022. If the fourth season returns to the original schedule, minus any catastrophic world events, a 2023 release date seems possible.
Filming officially got underway as of August 2022, with Antony Starr confirming the news with a picture of the cast together, tweeting: “Season one. So long ago. Season four, now we begin ;)”.
Season one. So long ago. Season four, now we begin 😉 pic.twitter.com/NFKfp6wYgZ
— Antony Starr (@antonystarr) August 22, 2022
What has the creator said about the story in season four?
Let’s get (more) political
The season three finale served up indicators of season four’s direction. Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit), under the thumb of Homelander (Anthony Starr), is on the path to becoming US Vice President, an echo of the storyline between president Dakota Bob and former CEO of Vought and Vice President Victor Neuman in the comics.
Speaking to Deadline about Neuman’s trajectory in the show, Kripke said: “One of the endgame storylines in the books that we always really responded to was this notion that the Vice President was literally gunning for the President and that the President was in mortal danger. That if the Vice President were to take over, they would [to] all intents and purposes be a Vought plant, which was sort of that lore between Dakota Bob and Neuman in the comics.
“We’ve been moving our chess pieces in place to play a version of that story because that does feel like the highest possible stakes, especially with Homelander becoming more and more untethered from reality.”
A recurring theme throughout The Boys has been the fight over Ryan, the son of Homelander and Billy Butcher’s ex wife Becca. At the end of season three, despite Billy’s attempts to keep him away from Homelander, Ryan has seemingly made his choice to side with his superhero father, who has since introduced him publicly to the world.
According to Kripke, this tussle over Ryan will continue in season four. Speaking to Metacritic, he said: “A lot of the story of certainly the next season is both Homelander and Butcher fighting over Ryan. It becomes like a custody battle with apocalyptic stakes. Will Ryan go into the light or will Ryan go into the shadows?
“In so many ways, season three was about fathers, and so, there’s quite a few stories in season four that are about sons.”
If you needed some reassurance, however, Kripke has stated Homelander will eventually die at some point, although it’s unclear whether that could happen in the fourth season.
“There’s no way the series ends without Homelander dying,” Kripke added. “I’m just not comfortable with keeping that guy alive in the universe. We have to do something!”
Are Maeve, Soldier Boy and Black Noir gone for good?
There’s hope for all, sort of
The end of season three saw three core characters depart the show in various ways. Maeve (Dominique McElligott), after seemingly sacrificing herself, is seen alive but has lost all her powers following Soldier Boy’s (Jensen Ackles) destructive blast. She’s seen back together with her ex-girlfriend Elena, as she leaves New York to finally escape Homelander.
Soldier Boy meanwhile is returned to cold storage where he began, and Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) is brutally killed by Homelander after he discovers that Noir knew about his connection with Soldier Boy and kept it secret.
Speaking to Deadline, Kripke said there’s a chance all three could return in some capacity. “We definitely won’t reach the end of the series without seeing Maeve again,” Kripke said. “I’m hoping we see Soldier Boy again.
“You know, for instance for Maeve, we really felt like for Annie/Starlight (Erin Moriarty) to truly grow, we needed to take away her protector. It started to become sort of narratively difficult because every time she was really in a tight spot, you know, Maeve could show up and kick some ass, and we sort of need Annie to be in a position where she might be in real danger if she can’t figure it out for herself.”
Asked about Black Noir, Kripke said: “Here’s what I’ll say without spoiling anything, which is that particular individual who is Black Noir is dead. His organs are out all over the place, but when you have a completely silent, completely masked-clad hero, they’re reasonably easy to recast.”
Is there a spin-off in the works?
Meet the next generation
Earlier this year, an anthology spin-off titled The Boys Presents: Diabolical was released, which covered unexplored areas of the main show’s universe. Each episode wass presented in a different tone and animation style, with stories written by the likes of Seth Rogen, Awkwafina, Andy Samberg, Aisha Tyler and Justin Roiland.
A second spin-off was officially confirmed by Amazon in July. The live-action series, titled Gen V, is described as “part college show, part Hunger Games” and explores “the lives of hormonal, competitive supes as they put their physical, sexual and moral boundaries to the test, competing for the best contracts in the best cities”.
Allow us to introduce ya to GEN V, The Boys college spinoff in the works with this brilliant bunch. pic.twitter.com/OOKjjqb87y
— THE BOYS (@TheBoysTV) July 15, 2022
Gen V also features an exciting cast, including Jaz Sinclair, Chance Perdomo, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Lizze Broadway, Shelley Conn, Maddie Phillips, London Thor, Derek Luh, Asa Germann, Sean Patrick Thomas and Marco Pigossi.
A release date has yet to be announced. As filming began in May 2022 however, it’s expected to be released in 2023.
Gen V is also set to feature some crossover with the timeline of the main show. Speaking to Deadline when the show was known as Varsity, Kripke, an executive producer on the spin-off, said: “There’s definitely crossover, and we’re doing our best to design a universe that sees some of the issues and storylines in season three hand off to the first season in Varsity.
“Like there’s a presidential campaign happening in the background of that season, and there’s certain things that are happening at that school that are both in reaction to season three of The Boys. There’s Soldier Boy, etc. but also some new storylines that are happening in that season of the spin-off that we have to pick up and take into season four of the show.”