The jury is still out on former Saturday Night Live writer and director Adam Mckay. He’s made four films up to this point, all starring Will Ferrell. A case could be made that three of those efforts, Anchorman, Step Brothers and Talladega Nights, are the comedian’s best laughers, but it’s very unclear to studios how much those monumental successes should count for McKay and how much they should count for Ferrell. If any other director had turned four consecutive movies all into ninety plus million dollar turns, he’d have his pick of nearly any project on the block. Not McKay. He still hasn’t acquired financing for his proposed adaptation of the comic book franchise The Boys, but if he lines up his dream cast, it shouldn’t be a problem.

According to MTV, the director sat down with Russell Crowe to discuss the film’s lead, an agent named Billy Butcher. The basic plot follows an alternate reality where both superheroes and villains are regulated by one governmental organization. When they step out of line, Butcher and his buddy Wee Hughie go to any lengths, including blatant lawbreaking, to exact some measure of revenge. Crowe hasn’t made any formal commitment, but if McKay had it his way, he’d play the lead and Simon Pegg would handle Wee Hughie. The authors of the comic, Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, actually formulated the latter character after watching Shaun Of The Dead. Thus, McKay has already publically stated, “Simon Pegg can take Hughie if he wants.”

With a budget of at least one hundred million before advertising, The Boys may languish in development for a bit. As of now, McKay hasn’t even quite finished the script. It should be completed in a few weeks, and then it’ll start making the rounds for backers. Will Ferrell agreeing to a ridiculous minor role would certainly help with the money problem. Until then, consider this better than a pipe dream, less than a sure thing.

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