Simon Racioppa interview: ‘The Boys Presents: Diabolical’
Simon Racioppa first got the idea for “The Boys Presents: Diabolical” while chatting with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who had helped to develop the Amazon Prime Video live-action series. “They wanted to make a show that exists in “The Boys” universe, but they wanted to make something really fast that could come out in time before season three and they had this idea of doing an animated anthology series,” he reveals to Gold Derby during our Meet the Experts: TV Animation panel (watch the exclusive video interview above). When reaching out to people to try and get them to write episodes for the anthology, having someone like Rogen ended up being invaluable. “It kind of helps when you have Seth Rogen making these calls for you. We only had eight slots but when we made lists, we just started calling people up and saying we’ve heard you’re a fan of ‘The Boys.’”
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“The Boys Presents: Diabolical” takes place in the same universe as the Amazon series and consisted of eight episodes, each written by a different writer and animated in a different format. Writers included Racioppa, Rogen, Goldberg, Justin Roiland, Ilana Glazer, Eliot Glazer, Awkwafina, Aisha Tyler, Andy Samberg and Garth Ennis. Among the animation styles showcased were Looney Tunes-style, Roiland’s trademark style, French comics, Saturday morning cartoons, anime and the style of the original comics the show is based on.
The cast for these shorts is absolutely incredible but there is one participant that Racioppa is still in a bit of disbelief about the fact that he was a part of it. “The stuff we made for Don Cheadle to say when he came in for his role, we were coming up with on the spot just trying to punch up his character.” Cheadle’s reaction would essentially be him saying, “You want me to say what? Really? Okay.” But he adds that everyone who added their voice to the project was amazing and hearing them elevate the words off the pages was wonderful.
While another batch of episodes hasn’t been greenlit yet, preliminary talks are happening about possibly making that happen. “I think the promise of ‘Diabolical’ is that it doesn’t repeat anything you see on the main show. We have to go somewhere different.” When asked who he would like to have write a future episode of the anthology, Racioppa reached to some very interesting areas. “Margaret Atwood, I think that would be amazing. I’d love to go to some classic literary authors and just see what they could do. Maybe someone who’s not traditionally a screenwriter would be great.”