EXCLUSIVE: ‘The Boys’ Director Has Met With Russell Crowe For Lead Role

Last we heard from writer/director Adam McKay (“Anchorman”), his planned adaptation of the ultra-violent comic book series “The Boys” was still in the scripting stage, though he had already begun weighing the pros and cons of 3-D filming for the project.

MTV News caught up with McKay at last weekend’s Comedy Awards, and while he confessed that “The Boys” script is still a work in progress, he’s already taken meetings with some prominent actors regarding the film.

“I’ve sat with some people. I really like the idea of Russell Crowe for [Billy] Butcher,” said McKay. “We met and had kind of an interesting meeting.”

For anyone who hasn’t been reading the hit series created by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, the story follows a group of CIA agents assigned to police the world’s super-powered heroes and villains. Led by the tough-as-nails Billy Butcher, the super-powered team recruits meek civilian Hughie “Wee Hughie” Campbell in the first issue after his girlfriend is killed by a superhero.

Over the course of the series, it quickly becomes apparent to Wee Hughie that the team is willing to put super-powered individuals in their place by any means necessary — including assault, blackmail, kidnapping, and frequently, murder.

Alluding to Wee Hughie’s resemblance to actor Simon Pegg (Robertson has admitted modeling the character after the “Shaun Of The Dead” actor), McKay said the role is his for the taking.

“Everyone knows Simon Pegg can take Hughie if he wants,” he said. “I don’t know what his schedule is like, though.”

“I’m writing completely on my own on that, so it’s taking twice as long as it should,” he laughed. “I am actually in the home stretch. I have about two weeks left on this draft and we’re going to try and get it made. It’s looking pretty cool. I’m excited about it.”

Still, even with high-profile actors in place, McKay admitted that “The Boys” could be a tough sell.

“You really have to wait until the draft is done to get serious about it, plus it’s like a $100 million, Rated-R, anti-superhero movie, so we have to see who bites on it,” added McKay.

“I’m going Disney #1, or Nickelodeon,” he joked.

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