“I don’t want that to affect any choices you might make”: Marvel Fans Won’t Like What Eric Kripke Asked Jensen Ackles Not to Do for ‘The Boys’ Before ‘Secret Invasion’ Failure

Eric Kripke's approach to character creation in The Boys challenges traditional superhero narratives, often followed by Marvel.

jensen ackles in the boys, secret invasion’

SUMMARY

  • Eric Kripke asked Jensen Ackles not to read 'The Boys' comics to avoid influencing his portrayal of Soldier Boy.
  • Even Kevin Feige implemented a similar approach for Secret Invasion, and yet the Marvel show failed to succeed.
  • Marvel fans might find Eric Kripke's directive for The Boys upsetting, especially in the wake of Secret Invasion’s failure.
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In the realm of comic book adaptations, loyalty to source material is often considered a benchmark for success. However, when it came to Amazon’s hit series The Boys, Eric Kripke took a refreshingly bold stance by encouraging his cast, including Jensen Ackles, to steer clear of the original comics.

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The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke | Genevieve/Wikimedia Commons
The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke | Genevieve/Wikimedia Commons

Unlike Marvel Studios’ traditional method of adhering to the comics, Eric Kripke made an unconventional request to Jensen Ackles, who played Soldier Boy in the show. During an interview with The Wrap, Ackles thus reflected on the advice, which might offend Marvel fans, especially after the failure of Secret Invasion, despite Kevin Feige following a similar approach.

Eric Kripke Asked Jensen Ackles to Avoid Delving into the Comics

In a refreshing departure from the conventional approach to portraying superhero characters, the cast of Amazon Prime’s hit series The Boys deliberately refrained from implementing Marvel’s ‘formulaic’ approach to superhero characters. Unlike Marvel Studios, showrunner Eric Kripke advised his cast to not delve into The Boys comics during production.

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During an interview with The Wrap, Jensen Ackles, who portrays Soldier Boy in The Boys, brought Eric Kripke’s directive approach to light, when he revealed the showrunner’s unconventional request. Confessing how he asked if he should read or even brush up on his character ahead of assuming the role, Ackles noted that Kripke asked him to not do so.

Jensen Ackles
Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy in The Boys | Amazon Prime

Honestly, Kripke and his crew, they write such colorful dialogue and descriptors that, you know, I even asked him, I said, ‘Do you want me to read the comics and brush up on who this guy is?’ And he steered me away from that and said, ‘No, don’t do that. I don’t want that to affect any choices you might make.’

So he encouraged me just to kind of trust my instincts, but largely it comes off the page in such a beautiful way and we’re, as actors, very fortunate to have such amazing writing and we trust it and then they trust us to perform it.

Praising Eric Kripke and his team, Jensen Ackles revealed how the showrunner strictly prohibited him from reading the comics. Believing in the fact that reading the source material could influence authentic performance, Kripke asked Ackles to stay away from the comics.

Kevin Feige Implemented the Same Precaution for Secret Invasion 

But while Eric Kripke refrained from following Marvel’s conventional approach of adhering to the comics, Kevin Feige seemingly followed the same precaution ahead of Secret Invasion. According to director Ali Selim’s interview with ScreenRant, he was asked not to indulge in the comics.

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A still from Secret Invasion
A still from Secret Invasion | Disney, Marvel Studios

When I took on this job as director, I didn’t write the script. So a lot of those decisions were made by Kyle Bradstreet and the other team of writers that we had. The first thing I was told is don’t read the comics. It had nothing to do with what we’re trying to do here.

This precaution was intended to prevent the storyline from becoming overly similar to its comics, which would have left no room for the creative team to showcase their innovation. But unfortunately, despite Kevin Feige’s attempts at doing something different with Secret Invasion, the show failed miserably upon hitting Disney+.

The Reason Why The Boys Succeeded While Secret Invasion Failed

Interestingly, while Eric Kripke‘s approach of keeping Jensen Ackles and the cast away from The Boys comics succeeded, Kevin Feige’s same precaution with Secret Invasion failed. It seems the reason behind the failure lies in how each universe treats its narrative foundation. While Kripke acknowledged that The Boys diverged significantly from its source material, Feige left the majority of the show loyal to its comic.

Kevin Feige speaking at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con International, addressing the fans
Kevin Feige speaking at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con International | Gage Skidmodo/Wikimedia Commons

It’s wildly graphic. You cannot read that book in public. All the fans of the comic and the show were waiting to see how we handled it. Kripke told Variety.

While Eric Kripke entrusted his confidence in his own narrative vision as well as his creative team of actors and crew, since a faithful adaptation would’ve been “straight-up p*rn”, Kevin Feige maintained fidelity with his comic purists. Occasionally deviating from comics and generally adhering closely to established storylines, Marvel Studios refrained from taking the risks embraced by The Boys.

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The Boys is available on Prime Video. 

Secret Invasion is available on Disney+ 

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Written by Krittika Mukherjee

Articles Published: 1687

Krittika is a News Writer at FandomWire with 2 years of prior experience in lifestyle and web content writing. With her previous works available on HubPages and Medium, she has woven over 1600 stories with us, about fan-favorite actors, movies, and shows. Post-graduate in Journalism and Honors-graduate in English Literature, when this art enthusiast isn't crafting your next favorite article, she finds her escapism in coffee, fiction, and the Wizarding World.