The Boys Season 4 Showrunner Eric Kripke Explains That Big Gen V Crossover

Some familiar faces and a major plotline from Gen V stop by The Boys season 4. Showrunner Eric Kripke talks about balancing it all.

Erin Moriarty (Annie January aka Starlight), Laz Alonso (Mother's Milk), Karl Urban (Billy Butcher), Tomer Capone (Frenchie) on The Boys season 4
Erin Moriarty (Annie January aka Starlight), Laz Alonso (Mother's Milk), Karl Urban (Billy Butcher), Tomer Capone (Frenchie) Photo: Prime Video

This article contains spoilers for The Boys season 4 episode 5.

Prime Video’s The Boys always seemed like a prime candidate for spinoffs, which it eventually received in the form of both animated anthology The Boys Presents: Diabolical and college dramedy Gen V. Now these two shows have seeped into the consciousness of The Boys season 4, with the former giving us clues into Billy Butcher’s fate, and the latter building up anticipation for a potential supe-destroying virus that was finally revealed in the latest episode, “Beware the Jabberwock, My Son.” 

As the intersection of these three shows starts to become tangible, The Boys creator Eric Kripke hopes that he doesn’t overwhelm fans with too many plot points. He spoke with Den of Geek about his excitement and carefully calculated intentions surrounding The Boys’ expanded world in an exclusive interview. 

“It was really fun [seeing the shows intersect],” Kripke says. “I mean, obviously, now that we’re playing with a larger universe, the geek in me loves bridging them and making Easter eggs and references from one show to the other. We try to balance it really, really carefully.” 

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The Boys has artfully weaved Gen V references into the first half of season 4, from Ashley (Colby Minifie) thanking Homelander (Antony Starr) for arriving on the Godolkin campus to Tek Knight’s cameo in a commercial playing in the background on a TV. This week’s episode brings Gen V’s Sam Riordan (Asa Germann) and Cate Dunlap (Maddie Phillips) to the Vought stage to advertise their newest in-universe series, a superb dose of irony that Kripke’s shows have always excelled at executing. 

Tying shows and films from the same universe into a larger package sometimes results in a dilution of quality and a huge ask of time for casual fans. Kripke talked to us about how these small cross-references have allowed all of The Boys’ shows to stand on their own, but still become intertwined for dedicated viewers who want to indulge in as much grotesque brutality as possible.

“I really don’t want the show to turn into homework. It’s supposed to be fun,” Kripke says. “It’s very intentionally designed so that if you watch The Boys and you’ve never watched Gen V, it’ll still make sense. Watching both will give you a deeper experience. That’s why I would prefer you to watch both, obviously, but you don’t have to.” 

Beyond the character cameos, Gen V’s main purpose in The Boys season 4 was to give the fans a heads-up about the potential lethal downfall of Vought’s superheroes. In a last-ditch attempt to eliminate Homelander before his death, Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) leverages his newfound knowledge of a virus that could kill the supers and asks disgraced Vought boss Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) for aid. Kripke spoke to us about how vital it was to make the introduction of the virus palatable for fans who didn’t watch Gen V

“You don’t need to know anything more about the virus than what The Boys tells you. But if you want to learn the backstory of how it came to be, Gen V will give you that story.”

So far, Kripke and The Boys’ writers’ room have mastered the art of the expanded universe in a way few other creatives have. They respect their audiences’ time and also honor the value of all of these shows as standalone series. We are certainly excited to see where the final three episodes of the season take us and how the writers mix and match the storylines from both The Boys and Gen V in the coming years. 

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The parent show only has one season left after this, but Gen V has been renewed for a second season after its successful Fall 2023 debut. We trust that Kripke will keep dropping hints about how The Boys will end once Gen V season 2 comes out sometime in the middle of 2025!

New episodes of The Boys season 4 premiere Thursdays on Prime Video, culminating with the finale on July 18.