Netflix’s adaptation of The Umbrella Academy comic series will start filming early next year in Toronto -- and audition tapes have already begun surfacing online. After years fronting My Chemical Romance, comic fan Gerard Way became a noted comic book writer when he and artist Gabriel Bá created The Umbrella Academy. Featuring layers of high concepts, the story focused on a 1977 where John F. Kennedy was never assassinated and a group of super-powered children were taken under the care of an eccentric alien dubbed the Monocle. The seven kids formed a sort of dysfunctional family, operating as superheroes in a strange mirror of our world.
The Umbrella Academy was a critical hit upon its release in 2007, and talk of a film quickly sprang up. By 2011, the plans had stalled after the writer of Dodgeball reworked the script. Things went quiet until this summer, when Netflix announced they were adapting The Umbrella Academy as a TV show. Overseen by Fargo and Legion producer Steve Blackman, the show seems to be in good hands. Now, we finally have some information on the characters and production of the upcoming series.
Omega Underground got ahold of a number of audition tapes for The Umbrella Academy, with various actors auditioning for characters like the Boy, the Kraken, the Séance, and Spaceboy. The site has also learned that the show will shoot from January to July of 2018 in Toronto, Canada. You can watch some of the audition tapes below:
Most of the actors are up-and-comers, though a few have some notable work. Overall, it looks as if Netflix is going for some fresh faces when it comes to the cast. In the tapes, we can see four of the main characters emerge. There’s the Boy, who will be a truly creepy character. Thanks to various travels through time, he is a skilled assassin who still appears to be 10 years old. His inclusion alone proves Netflix isn’t shying away from the dark subject matter of the comics.
Along with him is Spaceboy, whose head is attached to the body of a Martian gorilla. He’ll present a particular challenge for the show’s VFX department, but Spaceboy will also help demonstrate this show isn’t the average superhero tale. The Séance, meanwhile, has a number of powers, including telekinesis and the ability to communicate with the dead -- but only if he’s not wearing shoes. And the Kraken is an expert fighter, but his power is simply holding his breath for any amount of time.
With networks snapping up nearly every superhero property available, Netflix will have something interesting with The Umbrella Academy. Along with their recent acquisition of Mark Millar’s comic universe, the streaming service will be the go-to place for innovative and violent comic book shows and movies. And if The Umbrella Academy series is anything like the comic, it will be a huge hit.