The Boys Showrunner Explains How Jensen Ackles Was Cast As Soldier Boy
The Boys showrunner reveals how Jensen Ackles was finalized for Soldier Boy. Amazon Prime’s subversive take on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic book series of the same name, The Boys is currently one of the most revered superhero shows around. Featuring an ensemble cast led by Jack Quaid’s Hughie Campbell, Karl Urban’s Billy Butcher, Antony Starr’s Homelander, and Erin Moriarty’s Starlight, the series satirically chronicles the tale of the eponymous group of vigilantes as they strive to take down a team of superpowered individuals who abuse their abilities. Last Fall, The Boys‘ second season became a bona fide sensation, landing the show an Outstanding Drama Series nod at the 2021 Emmys, and becoming the first non-Netflix show to appear on the Nielsen Top 10 Streaming Shows list. Even ahead of the sophomore season’s debut, showrunner Eric Kripke and Amazon were confident about its success. That’s why a third season was ordered early on, with a spin-off series also being put in development.
Although precise details pertaining to the plot of The Boys‘ upcoming season 3 are slim, it’s guaranteed that the show will bring Congresswoman Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) under the spotlight, after season 2 revealed her to be the person responsible for blowing up people’s heads. Some additional characters will also be introduced, including Laurie Holden’s Crimson Countess, Sean Patrick Flanery’s Gunpowder, Nick Wechsler’s Blue Hawk, and Gaston Villanueva’s Supersonic. But the debut that fans are most eagerly anticipating is of Soldier Boy, one of Vought’s original superheroes, played by Supernatural alum, Jensen Ackles. Ackles’ casting was revealed in a surprise announcement ahead of season 2’s release, and it left fans particularly elated as it marked the actor’s reunion with Kripke, who supervised him as showrunner during the early seasons of Supernatural.
Recently, during a conversation with Vanity Fair, Kripke went into detail about how Ackles was cast as Solider Boy. The showrunner said that he had written the character long before the star was attached to the role. In fact, initially, he was looking for someone older to play the part. But he failed to find someone who’d fit right into the character’s shoes, and that had him quite frustrated. In the meanwhile, Kripke got a call from Ackles, who had been in touch with him since the Supernatural days. Read Kripke’s full quote below on what that phone call entailed:
“We had written Soldier Boy long before I cast Jensen. The majority of the guys we were looking at for that part were actually quite older than Jensen. Because it’s a World War II hero. But it’s so funny how these things sometimes happen. Jensen called me and I’m not on the show anymore but we keep in touch and text every so often. But he happened to call me and we were just chatting and I’m like well I’m prepping Season 3 of the show, and I have this character Soldier Boy, and it was a real pain in the to cast, and I haven’t really found anyone. Hey, wait a minute, do you want to do it? I sent him the script, and he’s like, oh my God, I totally want to do this. Less than a week later, he was cast. He just happened to call that day, is one of the big reasons he got that part.”
It stands to reason that the conversation between Kripke and Ackles was auspicious for everyone – the show, the actor, and all of The Boys‘ fans who have been bowled over by teasers showing Ackles’ updated look as the Captain America parody. Of course, viewers are yet to catch the star in action, but Ackles’ preparation and realistic embodiment of Soldier Boy is a clear indication that his character will be a hit among audiences once he appears in season 3. At the moment, it’s not sufficiently clear how Solider Boy’s arc will play out, but he is believed to act as a foil to Homelander, Vought’s current leading Supe.
The mutual goodwill between Ackles and Kripke has been largely resonant of late. When Ackles announced that he was developing a Supernatural prequel series, Kripke was quick to show his support for him. This only manifests how strong the ties are between the producer and the actor, and this is particularly good news for The Boys as it means the duo will be able to recreate their iconic collaboration on the show after Supernatural. For the rest, fans will need to wait for an official trailer as it’ll probably be only then when they can catch Ackles delivering his power-packed chops.
Source: Vanity Fair