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Friday, April 6, 2018

THE BOYS Casts Karl Urban as Billy Butcher


Four Boys down, one to go.

The Hollywood Reporter has word that the upcoming Amazon series The Boys, based on the Dynamite Entertainment comic series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, has cast Karl Urban as Billy Butcher.  Urban joins Karen Fukuhara as The Female, Jack Quaid as Wee Hughie, Laz Alonso as Mother's Milk, and Erin Moriarty as Starlight.

According to the article, Billy Butcher is described as "mysterious and brutal with a personal but secret agenda.  He approaches Hughie, claiming to be a shadowy government operative.  Butcher capitalizes on Hughie's rage over his girlfriend Robin’s accidental death at the hands of superhero A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) and enlists Hughie as part of his plan to bring down the superhero system."

In a world where superheroes embrace the darker side of their massive celebrity and fame, The Boys revolves around a group of vigilantes known informally as 'the Boys,' who set out to take down corrupt superheroes with no more than blue-collar grit and a willingness to fight dirty.

Urban, 45, is a New Zealand actor best known as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy in the three most recent Star Trek films, and as √Čomer in the second and third installment of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.  His other films include Thor: Ragnarok as Skurge the Executioner, Dredd as Judge Dredd, RED, The Bourne Supremacy, Priest, Doom, and The Chronicles of Riddick.  He also starred in the short-lived Fox TV series Almost Human and appeared in epsiodes of Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.


Created in 2006 by Ennis and Robertson, Butcher first appeared in The Boys #1 as William "Billy" Butcher, who grew up in London's East End and witnessed his father physically abusing his mother on a daily basis.  He developed an overwhelming hatred for the older Butcher that almost led him to murder.  Persuaded against this action by his brother, Butcher went on to serve in the Royal Marines and was wounded in the Falklands War.  Following his deployment, Butcher became self-destructive, drinking excessively and assaulting friends and strangers for little reason (even being court-martialed at one point).  This changed, however, on the day he met his future wife Becky.  Following that, there was no record of any assaults, with Becky's presence having a calming effect on Butcher.

One day, he woke up to find his wife disemboweled on their bed, with her prematurely born, super-powered child crawling out of her.  After it attacked Butcher with its heat vision and permanently scarred his arm, Butcher killed it by beating it to death with a lamp stand.  After reading Becky's diary, he learned the identity of his wife's rapist, the world's premier superhero The Homelander.  Butcher took the job of leading a team called the "The Boys" that were charged with watching and keeping the superheroes in line, and bringing them down when needed.  He was injected with a special chemical called Compound V that increases strength, reflexes, stamina and durability and gives the ability to heal wounds faster than normal humans. 

At the beginning of the series, Butcher worked to reassemble the old team with a new member, Wee Hughie, filling in for a former member named Mallory.  He also chose Hughie because his wife and Hughie's girlfriend were both killed by superheroes and he always wanted a little brother.  A bulldog named Terror was his constant companion and he trained Terror to fornicate on command.

During a final clash with The Seven in Washington, Butcher learned that it was Black Noir who had killed his wife, rather than the Homelander, and he finally gained his revenge. However, it was revealed that Butcher had secretly been making more of the modified Compound V so that, if he survived, he could kill vast numbers of superhumans.  The battle for Washington was won because Butcher had information about how to guide missiles towards the neurons in superhuman brains.  This information and the Compound V made Butcher's teammate Mother's Milk suspect that Butcher had faked a death and was using him.

After Washington, Butcher murdered their ally Vas (Love Sausage) to cover up the Compound V plan, then murdered The Legend to prevent any information from reaching Hughie.  Butcher suddenly announced a three-month leave for the team and then revealed his intention to make Hughie his second-in-command, in order to damage the group's relationship with one another.  It was also revealed that he deliberately terrified Mother's Milk's daughter in order to influence M.M. to journey to Los Angeles to deal with her.  When all this came out, Butcher and Mother's Milk had a brief fight, ending when Butcher (with expressed regret) killed him.

Butcher was later confronted by Hughie in top on the Empire State building and, after a brief fight, they both fell onto a lower platform, whereupon Butcher's back was broken, making him paralyzed from the neck down.  After a brief conversation with Hughie where Butcher acknowledged his past and admitted to having killed Mother's Milk, Frenchie and the Female, a police helicopter showed up.  Knowing he would be locked away for life as an invalid, Butcher deceived Hughie into killing him by (falsely) claiming he had murdered Hughie's adoptive family.  Hughie, in a fit of rage, rammed a metal spike into Butcher's chest, killing him.  True to his character, Billy died smiling.

The Boys is expected to debut on Amazon sometime in 2019.

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