Tower-ing Fiction #10: The Seven/Vought Tower, The Boys (2019)

The Boys s01e02 (Amazon, 2019), The Seven/Vought Tower

Amazon’s recent series The Boys (2019), an adaptation of a comic-book series of the same name, concerns a twisted version of DC’s Justice League, called The Seven, who are opposed by “the Boys,” a set of humans out to expose them for the evil deeds. The comic-book series was a pastiche of series like Alan Moore’s Marvelman and Watchmen, but relied on gore, sexual violence, and shocking depravity to keep readers’ attention—the girlfriend of the main protagonist, Hughie, is not just fridged in the first issue, but exploded by a speedster passing through her body; a spinoff series is literally called Herogasm

The comics and their streaming adaptation also rely on establishing a visual iconography, setting up The Seven and their world, with their exploits mostly located in and around New York City.

The Boys #4 (Dynamite, December 2006)

The Boys s01 (Amazon, 2019), promotional image

The New York City setting, including the effects of The Seven—ruined bridges and buildings, still-standing World Trade Center towers—appears regularly in the comics:

The Boys #3 (Dynamite, November 2006)

Just as contemporary New York City appears in the show:

The Boys s01e02 (Amazon, 2019)

The comics establish that The Seven use a low-orbit satellite as their base (and for surveillance)

The Boys #3 (Dynamite, November 2006)

The Boys #17 (Dynamite, April 2008)

The Boys #17 (Dynamite, April 2008)

However, in the show, The Seven work from the Vought International tower, situated among the other skyscrapers of New York City:

The Boys s01e07 (Amazon, 2019)

The Boys s01e02 (Amazon, 2019)

Specifically, the tower, with its rounded façade, and stylized “7” design, seems to have its base on 5th Avenue, in the block bounded by 40th and 41st Streets (or the next block north), putting it adjacent to the New York Public Libary and Bryant Park, as well as a couple of blocks from Grand Central Terminal.

The Boys s01e02 (Amazon, 2019)

 

The Seven (Vought) Tower is present in nearly every episode of the series, often in establishing skyline shots:

The Boys s01e01 (Amazon, 2019), The Seven Tower, seen from Central Park

The Boys s01e08 (Amazon, 2019), The Seven Tower and Empire State Building

But, interestingly, the base of The Seven Tower is a flared glass conic section, seemingly set among a variety of buildings, some obviously not drawn from the New York inventory of towers.

The Boys s01e03 (Amazon, 2019)

The Boys s01e01 (Amazon, 2019)

The base of the tower uses Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall, an iconic Toronto landmark and concert hall, home to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, itself situated next to a park, David Pecaut Square.

Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, ON

 

As much of The Boys was shot in and around Toronto, this isn’t particularly surprising, especially as Roy Thomson Hall has previously appeared in films such as X-Men (dir. Bryan Singer, 2000) and the remake version of Total Recall (dir. Len Wiseman, 2012), but it is interesting to see the “X” structure of the base replicated up The Seven Tower, becoming the base of the “7” and establishing a lattice over the building’s windows that we frequently see inside the tower.

This window structure unifies the real-world location (Roy Thomson Hall) with the digial skyscraper exterior, and physical set used for The Seven’s meeting/planning room, which overlooks the city:

The Boys s01e07 (Amazon, 2019)

The Boys s01e02 (Amazon, 2019)

The Boys s01e03 (Amazon, 2019)