It has been confirmed that My Chemical Romance lead singer’s superhero comic, The Umbrella Academy, will hit our screens in 2018.
The Umbrella Academy, a strange, absurd and funny superhero comic was written by Gerard Way whilst he was on tour. The creator is thrilled ‘that The Umbrella Academy has found a home at Netflix” further stating,
“I couldn’t think of a better place for the vision Gabriel Bá and myself had when creating the comic, and cannot wait for people to experience that world as a live-action show.”
The Umbrella Academy is an upcoming American television series produced for Netflix by Universal Cable Productions. Steven Blackman will serve as executive producer with additional executive producers Bluegrass Television and Mike Richardson, and Keith Goldberg from Dark House Entertainment.
Originating from The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse comic book series fashioned by Gerard Way in 2007, who will serve as co-executive producer, and published, by Dark House Entertainment, the plot follows the birth of forty-seven extraordinary children who were spontaneously born to women who previously showed no signs of pregnancy. Reginald Hargreeves, millionaire inventor, adopted the surviving seven of these children. When questioned why, he explained his reasoning for adopting these children: “To save the world”.
These seven children form The Umbrella Academy; a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers. At the age of ten they’re summoned to their first venture against an erratic and deadly Eiffel Tower, piloted by the fearsome zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel. Almost a decade later, the team have separated, each having created their own pathways, but when Dr. Hargreeves unexpectedly dies these disgruntled siblings reunite just in time to save the world once again.
These seven children include Luther Hargreeves, ‘Spaceboy’; the leader of the Umbrella Academy possessed with the ability of super-strength; Diego Hargreeves, ‘The Kraken’, the reckless and rebellious member of the group with the ability to hold his breath indefinitely and who also holds a strong affinity for knife-throwing; Klaus Hargreeves, ‘The Seance’, showcases a morbid temperament, his powers involve telekinesis with the capability to contact the dead (when he is not wearing shoes). The boy, ‘Number 5’, whose body is allegedly stuck in time unable to age, is considered the “perfect assassin” possessing the DNA of the best killers in history; Ben Hargreeves, ‘The Horror’, possesses monsters from other dimensions under his skin, often tentacles emerge from his torso, despite being deceased he is a member of the Academy appearing in visions and finally, Vanya Hargreeves, ‘The White Violin’, who is the most estranged member of the group, originally she showcases no particular powers but her interest in music places her as the most powerful of The Umbrella Academy. She is capable of releasing destructive waves of force using her violin that is strong enough to cut someone’s throat or destroy an entire building from a single note.
The adaptation for Netflix will follow its original storyline as pilot writer Jeremy Slater told Collider, “I was really adamant about taking the job, but the only way I was going to do it was if I could make it weird and make it true to the spirit of the book”.
In addition to this, the comic book series was first optioned as a movie before Dark Horse signed a deal with Universal Cable Productions to make it into a TV series. Slater elaborates in his interview with Collider that “the relationship and the dynamics are so rich in that book that, if you tried to distil it down to 90 minutes, everyone gets reduced to a cartoon and a caricature”. There is so much material to tell interesting, funny and unique stories, Slater stresses it needed to be a series in order to make it successful and not “some total mish-mash”.
Given that Netflix’s new series has only recently become the centre of discussion, casting is still underway but, the first lead for the series has been revealed. Ellen Page will star as the estranged Vanya; the black sheep of the dysfunctional family.
This 10-episode hit will air on Netflix in 2018. Are you as excited as we are?
Text: Ella Buxton
Images: Culturess, Nerdist, Den of Geek, digitalspy.com, fandomania, The Tracking board, DIY Magazine