Netflix has given a 10-episode order to The Umbrella Academy, a live-action series based on the popular graphic novels by Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) and illustrated by Gabriel Bá. The project hails from Universal Cable Productions and Dark Horse Entertainment. Steve Blackman (Fargo, Altered Carbon) has been tapped as executive producer and showrunner on the series, which is slated for a 2018 and originated with a pilot script written by Jeremy Slater (The Exorcist).
The Umbrella Academy follows the estranged members of a dysfunctional family of superheroes called he 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. Published by Dark Horse Comics, the comic series garnered praise from fans and critics for its alternate and twisted take on the superhero genre.
“I am thrilled that The Umbrella Academy has found a home at Netflix,” Way said. “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.”
UCP embarked on developing an Umbrella Academy TV series in 2015 under a first-look deal with Dark Horse Entertainment. Slater was brought in to pen the adaptation, which he did before segueing to create and executive produce The Exorcist for Fox. With the horror drama renewed for a second season, Slater is not available to work on The Umbrella Academy series, which was sold to Netflix about two months ago.
“What drew us to The Umbrella Academy is that it’s wholly unique, visual and stylized,” said Cindy Holland, VP Original Content for Netflix. “These aren’t the usual superheroes, and this series will embrace the singular tone of the graphic novels — dark yet humorous, supernatural yet grounded in reality.”
At Netflix, The Umbrella Academy will join the live-action series adaptation of Marvel comics characters, which kicked off with Daredevil in 2015 and since has included Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. The Umbrella Academy will be produced by Universal Cable Productions. Blackman executive produces alongside Bluegrass Television and Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg from Dark Horse Entertainment. Way will serve as co-executive producer.
“It’s a thrill to be producing this wonderful show for Netflix,” said Jeff Wachtel, Chief Content Officer at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, and President, Universal Cable Productions. “It’s been a passion project for the UCP development crew, and we can’t wait to bring it to life.”