The Umbrella Academy creator Gerard Way is happy with Netflix series

The Umbrella Academy is now available on Netflix, and we had the chance to chat with showrunner Steve Blackman and comic series creator Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance). The series follows a dysfunctional family with superpowers, and they will need to come together to stop the world from ending. Blackman and Way share their excitement for the show and talk about the challenges of making a live-action series, favorite character to adapt, time travel trickiness, and deciding what fantastical elements to keep or tone down.

“The biggest challenge for me was to do justice with this great graphic novel that Gerard and Gabriel had done that existed for 8 or 9 years,” Blackman said. “[Another challenge was] to bring it into the screen and to make the fans happy but also a whole new range of fans that may or may not like superheroes to come to fall in love with this family.”

“I was extremely excited that we were going to be able to spend ten hours with these characters as opposed to the original hour-and-a-half that the film would have been,” Way added.

There are many characters in The Umbrella Academy, and with the series having many episodes, the characters have more room to breathe. The showrunner shares his favorite characters that he was able to bring to life on the screen.

“I loved all the characters,” Blackman said. “Making Aidan (Number Five) come to life was a big one just because he is such an important part in the series. Finding Aidan Gallagher was a great catch for us. Also, making Hazel and Cha-Cha this interesting, odd couple of assassins was also a big challenge, and I think we found the right people for that.”

Time travel is a tricky subject to tackle due to altering timelines and making sure there aren’t any plot holes. The Umbrella Academy will be dealing with time manipulation, and both creators share their thoughts on the matter.

“Time travel is tricky in the comics.” Way said. “I would imagine it’s pretty tricky for Steve.”

“We make a lot of charts in the writers’ room trying to figure out where we are in the time travel of it all ” Blackman said. “It’s tricky.”

The graphic novel has some fantastical elements, and Blackman embraces them.

“Yes and no,” Blackman said. “Some things we brought up and some things we tone down. The idea was to just sort of find the best things from the graphic novel and translate them into what would be on the screen. A lot of the zaniness and sort of the whimsical of the graphic novel definitely comes across on the TV version of it.”

“I was definitely happy of what Steve did,” Way added. “I was able to kind of trust him and let him have his vision and do his thing with it. My goal was to make a really amazing comic with Gabriel, and we do that. And if we keep doing that, we’ll always have material for Steve to use, and also he’s very respectful of the source material. We know our ideas are going to go to a good place.”

Check out the video interview with Gerard Way and Steve Blackman below.

The Umbrella Academy Synopsis: In 1989, 43 women all over the world gave birth at the same time, with no signs of pregnancy before that moment. Some of the babies survive and billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves adopts seven to raise them as superheroes in a team called The Umbrella Academy. As the kids grow into adulthood, they part ways, only to return after hearing news of their father’s death. Number Five has seen the future and travels back in time to warn his family of the apocalypse. Together, Klaus, Luther, Diego, Allison, Vanya and Number Five must find a way to work together and prevent world annihilation from happening.

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John 'Spartan' Nguyen
John 'Spartan' Nguyen 9883 posts

Assassin, scoundrel, head honcho.