With Netflix's series adaptation of Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá's graphic novel series The Umbrella Academy set to make its dysfunctional debut next month, the creators updated fans on how they coordinated storylines between the comics and the television series – and gave graphic novels fans an answer to how long they see the series running. In a recent interview with Collider, Way promised fans that more graphic novels are coming from the creative dynamic duo – a total of eight to complete the Hargreeves' story – and they have the television series to thank for it:
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.
Way says that the Netflix team was dedicated to keeping the weirder aspects of the source story in place – and from what we can tell from the official trailer and synopsis, that certainly looks to be the case when the series lands on February 15th:
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.
The Umbrella Academy is a 10-episode series based on the graphic novels of the same name created and written by Way, illustrated by Ba, and published by Dark Horse Comics. Netflix's adaptation 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.
Netflix's version of the Hargreeves family includes: Ellen Page (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as sister Vanya, who appears to manifest no super powers but has an amazingly strong interest in music; Tom Hopper (Game of Thrones) as Luther/Spaceboy, leader of The Umbrella Academy; Robert Sheehan (Bad Reputation) as shoeless speaker-with-the-dead Klaus Hargreeves/The Séance; Emmy Raver-Lampman (Wicked) as Allison/The Rumor, who can alter reality with her lies; David Castaneda (Blindspot) as Diego/The Kraken, the reckless and rebellious member of the family; Aidan Gallagher (Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn) as Number Five/The Boy, the family's time-travelling, perpetually young brain; Colm Feore (House of Cards) as world-renowned billionaire industrialist and eccentric inventor Sir Reginald Hargreeves; and Adam Godley (Breaking Bad) as Pogo, a genetically engineered, tweed jacket-wearing, talking chimpanzee and family advisor/mentor.
The Umbrella Academy also stars award-winning singer/actress Mary J. Blige (Mudbound) as ruthless, time travelling hitwoman Cha-Cha; Cameron Britton (Mindhunter) as her deadly efficient partner Hazel; Ashley Madekwe (Revenge) as Detective Patch, a driven, fast riser within the police department investigating a series of murders – and The Academy; John Magaro (The Big Short) as Leonard Peabody, who begins to take music lessons from Vanya and sees something special in this constantly dismissed wallflower and Kate Walsh (Grey's Anatomy) as The Handler, a composed and confident leader of a mysterious, bureaucratic company.