“They’re halfway between a Donald Trump and a Kardashian, but with superpowers,” reveals production designer David Blass about building the world of real-life celebrity superheroes on Amazon’s “The Boys.” “We’re pulling back the curtain on superheroes, so we want to show a big budget look but also the behind the scenes as well.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Blass above.
In “The Boys,” real life superheroes are revered as celebrity gods keeping the community safe. Based on the comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, developed for the streaming giant by Eric Kripke and stars Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Elisabeth Shue and Chace Crawford, the satirical action drama explores what happens when these heroes go rogue and abuse their powers, telling a highly entertaining cautionary tale about celebrity worship, materialism, fame and greed.
“The hardest part in world building for ‘The Boys’ is you knew what you wanted to expect. We were going for a Marvel or DC world but of course we couldn’t do Marvel and DC,” Blass explains. “You want to give the audience what they expect, here’s this big blockbuster world, but translate it to the TV budget and also give them big bang for their buck.”
One of the major features of his work on the show are the gleaming grandiose corporate offices and boardrooms of the Vought Corporation, the multibillion-dollar conglomerate that manages the superheroes and covers up their dirty secrets. Those sets in particular are a fascinating mix of styles that purposely drive the narrative around the superheroes’ god-like place in society. So while there is plenty of mahogany and clean sharp lines often seen in corporate America boardrooms, they’re juxtaposed with expected futuristic control panels and monitors and an unexpected grandiose Roman aesthetic, with busts, heroic relief sculptures and ornate temple-like columns dotted throughout the building.
“It’s a balancing act,” Blass says. “These people have the biggest egos and the biggest paychecks and the biggest everything and they’re surrounded by people who are kissing up to them. They want what they want and they get what they want.”
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