Gerard Way of ‘My Chemical Romance’ fame partnered with artist Gabriel Bá to start releasing ‘The Umbrella Academy’ as a comic series in 2007 and now they will be heading to production as a live-action series for Netflix in 2018! The comics won an Eisner Award for Best Finite Series/Limited Series in 2008 and had a huge cult following with two limited series having been released and both a third and fourth in the works. We knew at one point that Universal Studios had optioned the rights to make this a film though after a writer change in 2010 the project seems to have fallen into limbo and in 2015 it was announced that Universal Cable Productions would instead be tackling it as a television show.
Universal Cable Productions is producing the show with Steve Blackman (‘Fargo,”Altered Carbon’) on board as both the showrunner and an Executive Producer. Gerald Way, Bluegrass Television, as well as Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg from Dark Horse Entertainment will also be Executive Producers. Jeremy Slater (‘The Exorcist’) is tackling the script for the pilot episode though it is unclear if he’ll be the series writer or if a writer’s room is being created to adapt the work.
The series follows “the estranged members of a dysfunctional family of superheroes (The Umbrella Academy) — The Monocle, Spaceboy, The Kraken, The Rumor, The Séance, Number Five, The Horror, and The White Violin — as they work together to solve their father’s mysterious death while coming apart at the seams due to their divergent personalities and abilities.” Dark Horse released something special here with how different of a superhero comic this was and as Netflix usually does a fantastic job with anything they release I’m curious to see a non-Marvel superhero series emerge with much darker themes.
According to Way:
“I am thrilled that The Umbrella Academy has found a home at Netflix. 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.”
Vice President, Original Content for Netflix Cindy Holland added:
“What drew us to The Umbrella Academy is that it’s wholly unique, visual and stylized. These aren’t the usual superheroes, and the series will embrace the singular tone of the graphic novels — dark yet humorous, supernatural yet grounded in reality. We’re excited to see this world and introduce these unforgettable heroes to Netflix members around the globe.”
Finally, Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, and President, Universal Cable Productions Jeff Wachtel stated:
“It’s a thrill to be producing this wonderful show for Netflix. It’s been a passion project for the UCP development crew, and we can’t wait to bring it to life.”
SDCC 2017 attendees will also have the bonus of being able to meet Gerald Way and Gabriel Bá in person “on Friday, July 21 from 11:00 to 11:50 a.m.” at Booth #2615 for a special wristband-only signing. These wristbands will be randomly given out at the Dark Horse Comics Booth #2615 on both Thursday and Friday morning leading up to the event.
Are you looking forward to checking out ‘The Umbrella Academy’? How dark do you think the series could end up? Share your thoughts below!