‘The Boys’ Showrunner Eric Kripke on Final Season’s A-List Guest Stars, Future of ‘Gen V’ and ‘Couple’ of Other Spinoffs in Development

“The Boys” are back this week — but they’ll soon be gone for good.

Amazon’s satirical superhero drama will be ending with Season 5, which was announced by showrunner Eric Kripke Tuesday morning, ahead of the Season 4 debut Thursday. The news is bittersweet for fans of the saga between villainous supe Homelander (Antony Starr) and morally gray supe-hunter Butcher (Karl Urban) because while it’s the beginning of the end, it’s also going out exactly as the creator intended it to.

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According to Kripke, “The Boys” Season 5 is currently being written and the plan is to shoot the eight-episode final installment from November 2024 through mid-2025.

Here, Kripke breaks down his choice to conclude “The Boys” and discusses what the decision means for the future of Amazon’s other live-action shows based on the comic book adaptation: spinoff “Gen V” and two in development projects, one set in Mexico and another that hasn’t yet been announced.

How long have you known Season 5 of “The Boys” would be the final season?

I would say near the beginning of writing Season 3, so years — years and years. And it took a minute for Amazon to agree, it took another minute to get them to clear it in all the channels so that we could finally announce it. I’m thrilled to be able to announce it because it was just like a tiny bit frustrating to always answer, “I don’t know how long it’ll go! And maybe it’ll go forever! And who can say?” But the truth was, I just wasn’t allowed to say yet. You can imagine getting permission to finally announce something like that is a pretty complicated deal. So I’m glad to just finally get it out there. I can feel more relaxed, everyone understands and they can go into Season 4 understanding the bigger shape of the huge five-season story. So I’m pleased to get it out there.

When did you finally get approval to announce and to announce it yourself?

Real approval from up and down Amazon probably came about a year ago. I give them all the credit in the world and I’m so grateful for them to let me end this story on my terms. That’s obviously really rare. I think for about a year, they were sort of very, very lovingly saying, “Well, maybe you’ll want to do more? Are you sure?” But when they saw that I was pretty dead set on Season 5, they went along with it. And and I really am grateful.

We announced Season 5 and I was hungry to get the word out that it was the final season. And so that’s a chain of executives and PR executives. And then we decided since Amazon had already announced Season 5, that it made sense for me to announce the final season.

And because you wanted to clear it all up on Twitter?

Look, I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t fun to have 1,000 comments daily about how I suck when I knew the whole time that I knew how the show was gonna end. So that’s only a small part of it. But the main thing is, I think it puts Season 4 in the right context. It’s weird for this show to say, but it’s a slightly more introspective season. We always look at it in the three-act movie way as the end of Act 2 low point before the roller coaster ride of the climax. And I just wanted people to understand where it fit into the larger piece so that they kind of get what this season is supposed to be.

I know you’re in the writers’ room writing Season 5 now, so what is the timeline for shooting and when it will air?

It’s not totally locked in yet but we are going to start shooting around mid-November. And I don’t know when it’ll premiere yet, but we’ll be shooting well into middle of ’25.

Will the final season be the usual eight episodes?

It will be eight episodes.

We’ve already discussed how you’d like to get “Supernatural” alum Jared Padalecki into Season 5 in some way. But now going in knowing it’s the final season, are you in conversations with other people who you definitely want to get in there?

We’re kicking around some ideas. We have this wonderful list of A-list fans who have told us over the years that they would love to do the show, so we’re going to take a long look at that list and see who makes sense.

What does this mean for “Gen V” and for the Mexico spinoff currently in the works?

I think they can and should continue. “The Boys” story is about Butcher and Homelander and these two planets crashing into each other and this particular story doesn’t work without both of them. And you can only keep that going for so long. So what I would say is, this particular story is ending, the Butcher-Homelander is ending. But there can be other stories and other corners of the universe. And hopefully, it’s vibrant and perverted enough to allow for those stories. So hopefully, “Gen V” continues, hopefully, a couple other things we have in development continue.

A couple?

There’s more than “The Boys” Mexico spinoff, but we’re not ready to announce anything yet.

On a personal level, do you see yourself as a five-season-story man — when you get to choose?

It’s interesting to think about why five always worked for me as a number. And the best that I can come up with is, I was really trained on five acts. I understand the movement of the introduction, the conflict in the middle, the low point — and the big finish. I just get it. So when people say, “I want my show to go two or three seasons,” I’m like, that’s not a round number like five should be.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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