Gerard Way & Gabriel Bá on Long-Term Plans for Netflix’s ‘Umbrella Academy’

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One of the many new series to premiere on Netflix this year is The Umbrella Academy. Based on the Dark Horse Comics series of the same name created and written by Gerard Way (yes, he of My Chemical Romance) and illustrated by Gabriel Bá, the show follows a group of estranged, super-powered family members who have to come together and work through their personality quirks to solve the death of their father.

When I was in Brazil attending CCXP recently, I got to sit down with Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá to talk about the series. They talked about how Netflix kept the weird ideas and the essence of the characters, what they wanted to see happen in the show, how the viewer is immediately trying to catch up and figure out what’s going on as the series begins, the challenges of trying to make the fans happy while also appealing to an entirely new audience, and more.

In addition, Gerard Way revealed that he knows how the graphic novels will end and wanted to make sure the writers knew where it was all ultimately going to go. He said:

“What I did for Steve Blackman (the showrunner) and the writers in that first writers room was to create an eighteen page document that laid everything out. Even of the graphic novels that haven’t come out yet. Which should equal eight when we’re all done. So I gave them the blueprint for what happens, because you do want to seed certain things in there for future series and the hope is that it’s a success so that you do a lot more of these. They’re very curious what Gabriel and I are doing next. We always send them the new comics. They really want to know what’s happening.”

Check out what Gerard Way & Gabriel Bá had to say in the player above and below is more info on the series and exactly what we talked about. Make sure to check out the show when it starts streaming February 15, 2019.

Image via Netflix

Here’s the official synopsis for Umbrella Academy:

“On the same day in 1989, forty-three infants are inexplicably born to random, unconnected women who showed no signs of pregnancy the day before. Seven are adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves, a billionaire industrialist, who creates The Umbrella Academy and prepares his “children” to save the world. But not everything went according to plan. In their teenage years, the family fractured and the team disbanded. Now, the six surviving thirty-something members reunite upon the news of Hargreeves’ passing. Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Vanya and Number Five work together to solve a mystery surrounding their father’s death. But the estranged family once again begins to come apart due to their divergent personalities and abilities, not to mention the imminent threat of a global apocalypse.”

Image via Netflix

Number 1 is Luther Hargreeves aka, played by Tom Hopper; number 2 is Diego Hargreeves aka The Kraken played by David Castañeda; number 3 is Allison Hargreeves aka The Rumor, played by Emmy Raver-Lampman; number 4 is Klaus Hargreeves aka The Séance, played by Robert Sheehan; number 5 is known simply as Number Five, played by Aidan Gallagher; and finally number 7 is Vanya Hargreeves aka The White Violin, played by Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Page. The Umbrella Academy also stars Kate Walsh as The Handler and Mary J. Blige as Cha-Cha and Cameron Britton.

Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba:

  • What did they want to see on the series?
  • The challenges of trying to make the fans happy while also appealing to an entirely new audience.
  • How they kept the weird ideas and the essence of the characters.
  • Did they tell Netflix a 5-year plan for the show?
  • Did they visit the set when they were filming and are they in any of the scenes?
  • How the show starts off and the viewer is immediately trying to catch up and figure out what’s going on.