The Season 3 premiere of Amazon Prime Video’s hit superhero sendup The Boys revealed a surprising new supe: Charlize Theron. Okay, so she only appears in a cameo role and isn’t joining The Seven or anything, but it was still shocking to see the megastar actress show up in the first episode’s opening minutes. (Almost as shocking as when she showed up in the last minutes of Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.)
So who exactly does Theron play in The Boys, and how does her character tie into the world of Vought International? Here’s a spoiler filled explainer.
Who Does Charlize Theron Play in The Boys?
Technically, we don’t know who Theron really is in The Boys, but it’s fun to think she’s actually playing herself. The opening scene of Season 3 is a clip from Dawn of the Seven, an in-series movie fictionalizing the origin of The Seven; think of it like The Avengers but if Tony Stark starred as Tony Stark. In the scene, the “heroes” (Homelander, Starlight, Queen Maeve, Black Noir, and A-Train) confront the blockbuster’s villain, Stormfront — played by Theron.
What’s odd here is that while Homelander, Starlight, A-Train, and the others are all playing themselves, why is an actual actress like Theron playing Stormfront?
Why Doesn’t the “Real” Stormfront Play Herself?
Stormfront is a real in-universe character who actually was a member of The Seven during much of The Boys Season 2. But as fans recall, it turned out she wasn’t much of a team player — unless that team was the Master Race.
Stormfront was in reality Liberty, one of the first recipients of Compound V, the substance that creates super powered people. Nearly immortal, she sought to lead the supes to world domination, but only if they were of the right race. See, not only was she a twisted supe, she also happened to be a Nazi.
When her past was publicly revealed, it led to her being kicked out (literally) of The Seven — and forced Dawn of the Seven into some massive reshoots.
What’s the Story Behind Dawn of the Seven?
One of the subplots throughout Season 2 was the filming of Dawn of the Seven, Vought’s latest attempt to profit off their manufactured heroes while whitewashing the vicious reality of the team. The whole thing plays out like a twisted version of our own culture and its obsession with superhero cinema, right down to Joss Whedon being brought in for rewrites.
Of course, once Stormfront was outed as a Nazi, Vought couldn’t exactly have her rising to save the day alongside Homelander and the crew. So the company did further rewrites, brought in director Tony Gilroy to oversee reshoots (like he did in the real world for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) in place of Adam Bourke (P. J. Byrne), and tapped Theron to replace the real Stormfront as the film’s villain.
Even then, Vought was considering forcing the movie onto their Vought+ streaming service or scrapping it all together. But we all know the power of superhero fans with a hashtag, so the #ReleasetheBourkeCut campaign began in earnest online. Just like DC fans did with Justice League, they convinced the studio to give in and release Bourke’s cut directly to theaters.
(Justice League helmer Zack Snyder himself even got in on the fun, tweeting out the fake teaser trailer for Dawn of the Seven and congratulating Bourke on getting “to see your vision realized.”)
Congratulations to Director Bourke. Excited to see your vision realized. https://t.co/iPB3SFRqpaAdvertisement
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) May 20, 2022
How did Charlize Theron Get Cast in The Boys Season 3?
So considering all that, how exactly did Amazon manage to snag Theron for this bit part where she gets to spout absurd lines like, “You’ll always be in my heart, but the Fourth Reich is in my soul”? It’s not like they were setting her up for a big part in future episodes or seasons, like Marvel did with her in Multiverse of Madness.
Our best bet is that this was Seth Rogen calling in a favor. Rogen is an executive producer on the series alongside his collaborative partner, Evan Goldberg, under the banner of their Point Grey Pictures production company. (In the Boys series itself, Rogen also plays a producer behind Vought Cinematic Universe films like Black Noir: Insurrection.)
Rogen and Theron co-starred together in the charming, under-appreciated rom-com Long Shot in 2019. The actors had great chemistry in the movie, so it’s not surprising that extended to a real-life friendship that may have lead to Theron’s surprise appearance in The Boys.
To watch Charlize Theron light up the screen within your screen in The Boys, check out the Season 3 premiere now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.