When your TV show is based on a comic book written by a rock star, at the very least, it better deliver an amazing soundtrack. Luckily, Netflix’s ‘The Umbrella Academy’ did just that. It’s officially been over a year since the series, based on the comic written by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, with art by Gabriel Bá, dropped on Netflix, but there is good news. The second season has been completely shot. Actually, from the sound of things, the show is getting the finishing touches courtesy of composer Jeff Russo.
Not only did Russo score the first season, but he worked with the show’s creator and showrunner, Steve Blackman, as well as Way to integrate an eclectic mix of songs from various genres, including songs by Way (a cover of Simon and Garfunkle’s “Hazy Shade of Winter”), series co-stars Emmy Raver-Lampman and Mary J. Blige, the Bay City Rollers, Nina Simone, The Doors, The Kinks, Queen, Radiohead, They Might Be Giants, and of course, ’80s mall titan, Tiffany (among many more). In fact, the “I Think We’re Alone Now” dance montage was nominated for an MTV Movie and TV Award for Best Musical Moment. (It lost to “Shallow” by Lady Gaga. Y’know that song that no one ever needs to hear again in their entire life?)
Russo is at work on the score of Season 2, and he offered some insight into what to expect:
“Well, there’s definitely a big change in setting, that’s for sure. And we tried not to change too much the approach of how to tell the story musically. I mean, we used a lot of really great songs in season one. We’re going to be using a lot of great songs in season two. We use score in a very meaningful way to support the emotional arcs of all of our characters in season one. We’ll be doing that again in season two. There are some new characters that we’re going to be having some fun with from a score perspective and that’s always fun, coming up with new thematic ideas for new characters and how to underscore them. So there’s a lot of new and then there’s a lot of the same. It’s a lot of both, but it’s definitely a thrill ride this year.”
If you need a refresher, here is the “I Think We’re Alone Now” sequence from Season 1:
First season cast members Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Justin H. Min, and Kate Walsh are known to be returning for Season 2. Season 1 also starred Mary J. Blige, Cameron Britton, John Magaro, Adam Godley, and Colm Feore but their odds of returning are… slimmer.
Season 2 also adds three new cast members, Ritu Arya, Yusuf Gatewood, and Marin Ireland. Arya is playing Lila, “a chameleon who can be as brilliant or as clinically insane as the situation requires. Unpredictable, mischievous and sarcastic, Lila’s gifted with a twisted sense of humor.” Gatewood’s character is named Raymond and is described as “a born leader with the smarts, gravitas, and the confidence to never have to prove it to anyone. He is warm, dedicated and has the innate ability to disarm you with a look. A devoted husband, he’s the kind of guy everyone wants to know.” And Ireland is portraying Sissy, “a fearless, no-nonsense Texas mom who married young for all the wrong reasons. Still in her prime, she’s eager to rediscover what life and love have to offer.”
According to Blackman, the COVID-19 crisis has not impacted the production of ‘The Umbrella Academy’, as Russo’s work shows. Even so, Netflix has not yet announced when Season 2 will arrive, although it is expected sometime in 2020.