The Boys’ Antony Starr Namedrops James Gunn When Explaining To Us Why Superhero Fatigue Doesn’t Concern Him

It’s a dirty phrase uttered by fans of comic book movies: “Superhero fatigue.” In general, it means that audiences have grown tired of messy, illogical comic-book blockbusters that killed off franchises – hello, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom – or continued a rut that seems to have swallowed a few recent MCU movies. That doesn’t mean the concept is real. It just means that casual audiences want quality over quantity, and they won’t line up for any old story that happens to focus on characters in capes. One ongoing project that pushes back against the critique of superhero fatigue would be The Boys, still one of the best TV shows on Amazon Prime Video. And the main cast will tell you why the theory is overall bullshit.

The Boys is about to return for Season 4, and we’ve already received confirmation that The Boys Season 5 will happen in the future. It seems like Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and his war against The Seven will rage on for years. So during a recent press day with the cast of The Boys, I asked Homelander himself – Antony Starr – if he believed in the idea of superhero fatigue, and he told CinemaBlend:

No, not at all. Actually, I question where the fatigue lies. And I think, without digging into the specifics of anything that has or hasn't been successful, I'm very curious to see what happens around any notion of superhero fatigue when James Gunn’s superhero (projects) come out. I don't think the audience is fatigued, let me put it that way. I think the audience is hungry. We were just down in Mexico doing a CCXP down there. And they are hungry as hell for superhero content.

Now, one might argue that The Boys is thriving because it bends, twists, and breaks the conventions that define the superhero genre. The Seven – a stand-in for DC’s Justice League team – are the evil entity on the show, and we root for the underdog humans doing what they can to take the super-powered team down. Which Antony Starr digs into when he goes on to tell us:

I think it's easy to start saying, ‘Is this superhero fatigue?’ I think people just want fresh stories, and fresh ideas, and fresh storytelling. And because of the nature of our show being an inverted universe, we're not bound… we're not slaves to the same masters. We're not bound to the same moral true north that standard superhero things are. We have no boundaries, right?

I really like how Antony Starr namedrops James Gunn as part of his answer. Perhaps he’s simply excited for the new DC universe that Gunn wants to launch with the animated series Creature Commandos, and his Superman feature film. Or maybe there’s truth to the rumor that Starr is in the running to play Booster Gold in a planned DC series for Max? That would be ideal casting, and a great way for Starr to stay in the hero realm, while still playing with convention. 

Look for the new season of The Boys starting on June 11, available with an Amazon Prime Video subscription.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.