Columbia Pictures first optioned Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic book series The Boys back in 2008, setting Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay to work on writing the screenplay. The adaptation languished after that until last year, when it was revealed that frequent Will Ferrell collaborator Adam McKay was set to give the script a rewrite and direct it himself. There’s been a lot of talk since then, including mention of Simon Pegg for the lead role of Hughie “Wee Hughie” Campbell.
There’s a big cast to be filled though, with a story that follows a CIA squad of superhumans tasked with keeping watch over the other super-beings of the world. One name that McKay has his eye on is Russell Crowe, a fact he revealed in a recent interview with MTV.
“I’ve sat with some people. I really like the idea of Russell Crowe for [Billy] Butcher. We met and had kind of an interesting meeting,” he said, adding, “Everyone knows Simon Pegg can take Hughie if he wants. I don’t know what his schedule is like, though.”
McKay predicts that he’s got about two weeks left of re-writes on his current draft, after which the process should start picking up a bit. “You really have to wait until the draft is done to get serious about it, plus it’s like a $100 million, rated-R, anti-superhero movie, so we have to see who bites on it.”