The Reason Cinemax Dropped The Boys

In an era where comic book movies and TV shows are everywhere with absolutely no signs of showing down, "The Boys" has succeeded in a big way, cutting through the noise to become a gigantic hit for Amazon. But that wasn't always going to be the case, as it was originally Cinemax who was looking to cash in on the R-rated good contained within Garth Ennis' and Darick Robertson's bloody comic book series. So, why did Cinemax let this one go? And how did it ultimately work out for its betterment? Let's dive in.

The Network Ran Into a Big Problem

The dynamic duo of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, after successfully adapting Ennis' "Preacher" for AMC, was enlisted by Cinemax to handle "The Boys" in 2016. It made a lot of sense on paper, as Rogen and Goldberg had/have a tremendous track record, they tackled gritty subject matter from Ennis before, and superhero stuff was/is huge. "Supernatural" creator Eric Kripke was also along for the ride and was set to write the adaptation. 

Unfortunately, after getting well into the development process, Cinemax ran into a big issue; they couldn't afford the show that Rogen, Goldberg, and Kripke had cooked up. Speaking to Business Insider, Kripke said the following:

"They said it was way beyond their budget. To their credit, they let it go. They didn't develop a watered-down version. They just couldn't afford it."

Cinemax Did the Classy Thing

The thing that is quite crucial for those who enjoy "The Boys" to understand is that Cinemax didn't necessarily have to let the project go at that point. They could have insisted that the creators try to find a way to bring the budget down, they could have tried to find a new set of creators to take over. It could have gotten ugly, and we probably wouldn't have ended up with a version of the show that worked as well as the one we have did. But Cinmex did the classy thing and let them find another home for it. And find a home they did.

Amazon to the Rescue

Luckily, the streaming wars being what they are, there were plenty of other suitors out there. Ultimately, Amazon stepped up and provided the creators the resources they needed to make the show happen. Kripke, in the same interview, explained why Amazon ended up being the right place at the right time:

"Up to that point, I think their taste had skewed fairly indie, and they wanted something edgy that still appealed to a broader audience. We were a perfect fit and checked all the boxes. And we were happy because they have that sweet, sweet [Jeff] Bezos money. Then we just kept developing more scripts and they picked us up for the season."

While the budget was certainly enough to get the job done, Kripke also added that it wasn't as expensive as other marquee shows on TV. Instead, they got by on creativity and passion, along with just enough of that sweet Bezos money:

"We didn't have anything close to a 'Game of Thrones' budget or anything like that. We're not even half of what that number would be. But when you don't have all the money in the world, you get there through blood and tears."

In the end, it all worked out. "The Boys" season 3 is coming down the pipeline, and we're even getting a spin-off. Though Cinemax, in hindsight, would surely have loved to find the money to make it happen.