Created by writer Garth Ennis and artist Darick Robertson, the hyper-violent satire charted the adventures of a CIA black ops team that was tasked with monitoring superhero activity across the globe, and if necessary, deal with them when they would get too out-of-hand. One of the characters, named Hughie, was based on actor Simon Pegg, and though Pegg stated he was flattered by the depiction, he did state he thought he might be too old to actually play the Hughie if the film ever got off the ground. The project was first set up at Columbia in 2009, and at the time Ennis was pretty enthusiastic about its chances of getting made.
Writers Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay were the ones who primarily worked on the screenplay for Columbia, although Seth Rogen reportedly did a draft as well. Russell Crowe circled the project at one point, considering the lead role of Billy Butcher, but not even that kind of interest could get the film a green light.
Producer Neal Moritz is now free to shop The Boys around to other studios. Time will tell if anyone else will be interested.