The Umbrella Academy (TV series)
The Umbrella Academy is an American superhero web television series developed by Steve Blackman and Jeremy Slater for Netflix. It is an adaptation of the comic book series of the same name, created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, and published by Dark Horse Comics. The plot revolves around a dysfunctional family of adopted sibling superheroes who reunite to solve the mystery of their father's death, and the threat of an impending apocalypse. The series is produced by Borderline Entertainment, Dark Horse Entertainment, and Universal Cable Productions.
|The Umbrella Academy|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||10 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||45–60 minutes|
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
|Picture format||4K (16:9 UHDTV in high dynamic range)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital|
|Original release||February 15, 2019 –|
The ensemble cast features Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Cameron Britton, and Mary J. Blige. The adaptation began development as a film optioned by Universal Pictures in 2011. However, it was eventually shelved in favor of a television series in 2015, before being officially greenlit by Netflix in July 2017. The series is filmed in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario.
The first season was released on Netflix on February 15, 2019. It received positive reviews from critics, with many praising the cast and visuals, though the tone and pacing were criticized. In April 2019, Netflix reported that 45 million households had watched season one during its first month of release. That same month, the series was renewed for a second season.
On October 1, 1989, 43 women around the world give birth simultaneously, despite none of them showing any sign of pregnancy until labor began. Seven of the children are adopted by eccentric billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves, and turned into a superhero team through what he calls "The Umbrella Academy". Hargreeves gives the children numbers rather than names but they eventually are named by their nanny robot mother, Grace, as: Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Number Five (his only name), Ben and Vanya. While putting six of his children to work fighting crime, Reginald keeps Vanya apart from her siblings' activities, as she demonstrates no powers of her own.
In the present day, Luther is a part-animal astronaut, Allison is a famous actress, Vanya is a violinist, Klaus has a drug addiction, Ben is a ghost only able to converse with Klaus, and Diego has become a vigilante with a penchant for trouble. The estranged siblings learn that Reginald has died and gather for his funeral. Number Five returns from the future, revealing that a global apocalypse is imminent. Meanwhile, the reunited siblings try to uncover the secret of their dysfunctional family while beginning to come apart due to their divergent personalities and abilities.
Cast and characters
- Ellen Page as Vanya Hargreeves / Number Seven, a meek violinist with no apparent supernatural abilities, which somewhat alienated her from her siblings. In reality, she possesses the power to convert sound waves into destructive force, an ability her father suppressed with drugs to keep others out of danger. T.J. McGibbon and Alyssa Gervasi portray Vanya as a teenager and a 4-year-old, respectively.
- Tom Hopper as Luther Hargreeves / Number One / Spaceboy, an astronaut with super strength. He lived on the moon for four years as a mission from his father. He was the only one of his siblings who did not leave the team and during a mission was severely injured. To save his life, Reginald injected him with a serum that turned his upper body into that of an ape. Cameron Brodeur portrays a younger Luther.
- David Castañeda as Diego Hargreeves / Number Two, a rebellious troublemaker with the ability to curve the trajectory of anything he throws, usually knives. Blake Talabis portrays a younger Diego.
- Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison Hargreeves / Number Three, a celebrity with the ability to control minds with the phrase "I heard a rumor...". Eden Cupid and Jordana Blake portray Allison as a teenager and a 4-year-old, respectively.
- Robert Sheehan as Klaus Hargreeves / Number Four, a flamboyant drug addict with the ability to communicate with the dead and temporarily make them corporeal. Dante Albidone portrays a younger Klaus.
- Aidan Gallagher as Number Five, a boy with the ability to jump through space and time. After traveling to the future he ended up in a post-apocalyptic world, unable to get back. He survived on his own for decades before being recruited into the Commission, an agency that kept tabs on the timeline and figures who would threaten it. He eventually betrayed them in order to get back to his time to warn his family of the impending apocalypse and is constantly hunted by his former employer. Returning to his time causes him to revert to his thirteen-year-old body. Jim Watson plays an adult Five and Sean Sullivan portrays an elderly Five.
- Mary J. Blige as Cha-Cha, a ruthless assassin who is partnered with Hazel.
- Cameron Britton as Hazel, Cha-Cha's partner, who slowly becomes disillusioned with his life as a Commission agent.
- John Magaro as Leonard Peabody / Harold Jenkins (season 1), Vanya's love interest. As a kid, he was an admirer of the Umbrella Academy and begged to join, since he was born on the same day as the result of a normal pregnancy, but was humiliated by Reginald. He would later discover Reginald's diary, detailing Vanya's potential and inserts himself into her life with the goal of manipulating her into discovering and using her powers.
- Adam Godley as Pogo, an intelligent chimpanzee and Reginald's closest assistant. While Godley provided the voice and facial performance capture for the character, Ken Hall played the character on the set and provided the motion capture for the body.
- Colm Feore as Sir Reginald Hargreeves / The Monocle, the Umbrella Academy's adoptive father and a billionaire industrialist who is deceased in the present day.
- Justin H. Min as Ben Hargreeves / Number Six (season 2, recurring season 1), a boy who can summon tentacled horrors from his body. Ben is deceased but appears regularly to Klaus and helps him occasionally. Ethan Hwang portrays a younger Ben.
- Sheila McCarthy as Agnes, the owner / baker / waitress at Griddy's Doughnuts. Hazel's nascent love interest.
- Jordan Claire Robbins as Grace Hargreeves / Mom, a robot built by Reginald who acted as the Umbrella Academy's adoptive mother. She was built after Vanya kept assaulting nannies with her powers.
- Ashley Madekwe as Detective Eudora Patch, Diego's former romantic partner.
- Peter Outerbridge as The Conductor
- Rainbow Sun Francks as Detective Chuck Beaman
- Kate Walsh as The Handler, the head of the Commission and Five's former boss.
- Ritu Arya as Lila (season 2)
- Yusuf Gatewood as Raymond (season 2)
- Marin Ireland as Sissy (season 2)
|No.||Title||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original release date|
|1||"We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals"||Peter Hoar||Jeremy Slater||February 15, 2019|
|In 1989, forty-three women simultaneously give birth, despite showing no signs of pregnancy prior to each birth. Seven are found and adopted by eccentric billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves, who raises them as a superhero team. Years later, Hargreeves' children reluctantly reunite for his funeral. Luther suspects that Hargreeves died of foul play, because the monocle that he always wore is missing. Number Five, who had disappeared 16 years before, appears in a strange ball of blue energy. He claims to have returned from the future and into his prepubescent body, and that he is actually fifty-eight years old. Tensions emerge among the siblings, and Diego gets into a fight with Luther that destroys a statue of their deceased brother, Ben. Later, Five is visiting a doughnut shop when several armed men enter and open fire. After killing the men, he removes a tracker embedded in his arm. Elsewhere, it is revealed that Diego has the monocle, and that Klaus can talk to Ben's ghost.|
|2||"Run Boy Run"||Andrew Bernstein||Steve Blackman||February 15, 2019|
|Five arrives at Vanya's apartment and warns his estranged sister that the world will end in eight days. Vanya thinks Five's mind has been corrupted by time travel, and that the world will not really end. Agents Cha-Cha and Hazel arrive at a motel and begin to track their target. Luther learns that Diego had a boxing match at the time of their father's death, which rules him out as a suspect, and Vanya meets her latest violin student, Leonard. Partly assisted by Klaus, Number Five tries to find out the origin of a prosthetic eye he found in the future, knowing that its owner will soon destroy the world. The brothers learn, however, that the eye has yet to be manufactured in the present. Five visits a department store to see "Delores", a store mannequin who was his companion for thirty years, and is attacked by Cha-Cha and Hazel. Diego's former friend, Detective Eudora Patch, investigates the deaths at the doughnut shop, but her only witness has already been interrogated by Cha-Cha and Hazel. As Allison watches old surveillance videos of her childhood to cheer herself up, she finds a disturbing tape of her father.|
|3||"Extra Ordinary"||Andrew Bernstein||Ben Nedivi & Matt Wolpert||February 15, 2019|
|After Allison shows Luther the videotape of what looks like Grace, the siblings' android "mother", serving poisoned tea to their father, the two ask their mother about the incident. The android claims to remember nothing about it, but the siblings suspect that she is hiding something. Vanya struggles with her violin skill and she and Leonard get to know each other better. Number Five starts an observation of the manufacturer of the prosthetic eye. Agnes, the waitress at the doughnut cafe, describes the umbrella tattoo of Number Five to Cha-Cha and Hazel, leading them to the Hargreeves's house. As Luther and Allison gather the rest of their siblings to watch the footage, Diego reveals he took the monocle from Grace after the funeral and threw it away. The siblings disagree on whether to turn off Grace or not. Cha-Cha and Hazel break into the Hargreeves's house and attack Luther, Diego, Allison, and Vanya, but flee and kidnap Klaus when the siblings fight back. Diego finally turns off Grace, as she is totally oblivious of the fight and shows other malfunctions.|
|4||"Man on the Moon"||Ellen Kuras||Lauren Schmidt Hissrich||February 15, 2019|
|Seven years ago, Hargreeves sends Luther on a mission that goes severely wrong. To save his life, Hargreeves injects Luther with a serum that also transforms his body into that of an ape. In the present, Allison and Luther find the deactivated Grace and assume the hit-men shut her off. Leonard and Vanya bond and agree to go to dinner. Meanwhile, Cha-cha and Hazel torture Klaus to get information about Five. When they begin to destroy Klaus's drugs, he gives up information, and after sobering up, he begins to see their dead victims. Five threatens the man from Meritech to get more information about the prosthetic eye. Cha-cha and Hazel, now aware of Five's investigation, go to the lab and torch it. Diego and Luther find Five passed out drunk. Patch goes to the motel to search for the two hit-men and frees Klaus but gets killed by Cha-cha. Klaus escapes through the vents with the briefcase. As he opens the briefcase, he time travels.|
|5||"Number Five"||Ellen Kuras||Bob DeLaurentis||February 15, 2019|
|A flashback shows Number Five's life in the apocalyptic future. He is eventually approached by the Handler, representing an organization called the Commission. She offers him a job. He works some time for them by killing people throughout history, until he finds a way to return to the present day. Allison suspects that Leonard is hiding something and makes inquiries, but Vanya dismisses her concerns and becomes angry with her. Vanya stops taking her pills. When she auditions for the first chair in her orchestra, she gets it, but at the same time a mysterious power within her appears. Klaus destroys the briefcase after returning from his time travel. He fought in the Vietnam War and lost someone close to him and is heavily traumatized. Luther and Number Five trick the hit-men into setting up a meeting with the Handler in exchange for a different briefcase. She offers Number Five a new job, which he accepts under the condition that his family survives. Vanya gets first chair and tells Leonard. Unbeknownst to her, he killed the former first chair violinist. Pogo reactivates Grace and asks her to keep a secret from the kids.|
|6||"The Day That Wasn't"||Stephen Surjik||Sneha Koorse||February 15, 2019|
|During Klaus's time jump, he ended up in the Vietnam war and fell in love with a soldier named Dave. Meanwhile, the Handler takes Five to the Commission's headquarters. Cha-cha is sent orders to terminate Hazel. Luther informs the Academy about the impending apocalypse but fails to inspire the group to fight. Angry at being excluded and with her new powers emerging, Vanya unknowingly causes a rainstorm and bends several streetlamps. Klaus asks Diego to help him sober up, hoping to see Dave's ghost before the world ends. Luther feels betrayed when he discovers his moon research was pointless. Diego discovers that Grace has been reactivated and is dumbfounded. Luther and Allison confess their romantic feelings. Five intercepts orders to protect a man named Harold Jenkins. He alters the orders, telling Cha-Cha to kill Hazel and vice-versa. Vanya discovers her father's notebook at Leonard's house, reads it and learns her father knew about her powers and suppressed them. Five steals a time-travelling briefcase and flees the Commission. He arrives at the beginning of the episode, altering the timeline, and rallies his siblings to stop the apocalypse.|
|7||"The Day That Was"||Stephen Surjik||Ben Nedivi & Matt Wolpert||February 15, 2019|
|In 1989, Harold Jenkins is born from a normal pregnancy although his mother dies in labor. Harold idolizes the Umbrella Academy and believes he is like them; Reginald rejects Harold, telling him there is nothing special about him. Harold murders his abusive and alcoholic father and is sentenced to 12 years in prison. Five reveals they must locate Harold and stop him from causing the apocalypse. Diego learns that he is the prime suspect for Detective Patch's murder and Allison recognizes Harold as Leonard from a police file. Diego, Allison and Five break into Leonard's house, discovering destroyed Umbrella Academy memorabilia. Luther becomes depressed upon learning the truth behind his mission to the moon. He goes to a rave where he gets intoxicated. Klaus follows him and is knocked unconscious in a fight. He sees Reginald, who tells him that Klaus has not fully seen the potential of his powers. Hazel receives orders to kill Cha-Cha, but instead incapacitates her. Leonard and Vanya are harassed by a trio of thugs. They beat up Leonard, causing Vanya's powers to burst, killing two of them. Leonard recovers in the hospital, having lost his right eye in the event, while Allison goes looking for Vanya.|
|8||"I Heard a Rumor"||Jeremy Webb||Lauren Schmidt Hissrich & Sneha Koorse||February 15, 2019|
|Unable to find Vanya, Allison accompanies a police officer investigating the attack on Leonard and Vanya under the guise that she is researching an acting role. As Leonard and Vanya leave the hospital, they learn that the third assailant survived. Allison and the officer question him and learn that he and his friends were paid to attack them. Hazel runs away with Agnes, going on the trip she had always planned. Upon arriving at their first stop, he leaves her to take care of an issue, but promises to return. Cha-Cha goes to Agnes' donut shop and discovers where they are heading. Leonard and Vanya continue to train her abilities in the woods, which only grow stronger as Vanya flashes back to moments in her childhood where she was being trained by Reginald. As Reginald feared her powers were too great he isolated her from the others and began medicating her to stabilize her mood. Allison finally finds Vanya at the cabin and confesses that Reginald asked her to use her powers to convince Vanya she was ordinary. Vanya lashes out in anger, slicing Allison's throat with her powers. Leonard arrives and takes Vanya away as Allison bleeds out.|
|9||"Changes"||Jeremy Webb||Bob DeLaurentis & Eric W. Phillips||February 15, 2019|
|A young Vanya uses her powers to kill several nannies before Reginald ultimately builds Grace. Leonard takes Vanya back to his home, where she is riddled with guilt. Allison survives and is rescued by their brothers. However, she is unable to speak. Klaus tries to get high again, prompting Ben to punch Klaus in the face and revealing that Ben was able to make physical contact thanks to Klaus' powers. At Leonard's, Vanya discovers Reginald's diary. Realizing Leonard's manipulation, she kills him in a fit of rage. His body is discovered by her siblings and Five matches the glass eye to Leonard. Hazel arrives at the Umbrella Academy to volunteer to help stop the apocalypse, but learns from Five that with Jenkins dead, it is done. Hazel reveals Cha-Cha to be Patch's killer and leaves their guns to help exonerate Diego. Hazel returns to Agnes, only to find Cha-Cha has taken her hostage. Their fight is interrupted by the Handler. Allison awakes and reveals that Vanya has powers. Vanya returns to the house and Luther incapacitates her before locking her in an isolation chamber. The others protest but Luther refuses. Heartbroken and furious, Vanya gives into her dark powers and breaks out.|
|10||"The White Violin"||Peter Hoar||Steve Blackman||February 15, 2019|
|The siblings escape as Vanya destroys the mansion. Ben is able to physically interact, saving Diego from falling debris. Vanya confronts Pogo, who admits to his knowledge of her powers. She kills him, and Grace is destroyed when the building collapses. The siblings regroup at a bowling alley while Vanya prepares for her concert. Five meets the Handler at the motel, only to realize it is a distraction. The siblings escape for the Icarus Theatre, while Hazel and Cha-Cha are ordered to protect Vanya. However, Hazel betrays Cha-Cha and incapacitates her before returning to the motel, killing the Handler, and rescuing Agnes. As the concert begins, the siblings fail to stop Vanya and Commission soldiers enter the theatre. Ben manifests physically through Klaus and uses his powers to defeat the gunmen. Allison incapacitates Vanya, as her accumulated energy is redirected out into space and destroys the moon. Fragments begin to rain down upon the world, causing the Apocalypse. Having failed in their mission, Five suggests that they use his abilities to all travel back in time to stop the Apocalypse as a team. As the world is consumed, Hazel and Agnes escape and the Umbrella Academy transport back in time, reverting to teenagers.|
A film version of the comic book series The Umbrella Academy was optioned by Universal Studios. Originally, screenwriter Mark Bomback was hired to write the screenplay; Rawson Marshall Thurber reportedly replaced him in 2010. There had been little talk of the film from that time. In an interview with Newsarama at the 2012 New York Comic Con, Way mentioned that there have been "good talks" and a "really good script", but that it was "kind of up to the universe".
On July 7, 2015, it was announced that The Umbrella Academy would be developed into a television series, rather than an original film, produced by Universal Cable Productions. On July 11, 2017, it was officially announced that Netflix had greenlit a live-action series adaptation of The Umbrella Academy premiering in 2019, with Way and Bá acting as executive producers. Jeremy Slater wrote the script for the pilot episode, and Steve Blackman serves as showrunner. The first season of The Umbrella Academy was released on Netflix on February 15, 2019. On April 2, 2019, the series was renewed for a second season.
On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a 77% approval rating with an average rating of 7.27 out of 10 based on 78 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Umbrella Academy unfurls an imaginative yarn with furtive emotion and an exceptionally compelling ensemble, but the series' dour sensibility often clashes with its splashy genre trappings." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 62 out of 100 based on 18 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
|2019||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress||Ellen Page||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Streaming Superhero Television Series||The Umbrella Academy||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Streaming Presentation||Ellen Page||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour or More)||Mark Worthington, Mark Steel, Jim Lambie (for "We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Special Visual Effects||Everett Burrell, Chris White, Jeff Campbell, Sebastien Bergeron, Sean Schur, Steve Dellerson, Libby Hazell, Carrie Richardson, Misato Shinohara (for "The White Violin")||Nominated|
|People's Choice Awards||The Bingeworthy Show of 2019||The Umbrella Academy||Nominated|
|The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2019||The Umbrella Academy||Nominated|
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