Two years after it was put in development, Netflix has scooped up the Umbrella Academy TV series.
The streaming giant has handed out a 10-episode straight-to-series order for the adaptation of Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) and Gabriel Ba’s beloved graphic novel. The drama will launch on the streaming service in 2018. (Check out the poster for the series, above.)
Based on the Eisner Award-winning comics, the live-action Umbrella Academy follows the estranged members of a dysfunctional family of superheroes (aka the Umbrella Academy): The Monocle, Spaceboy, The Kraken, The Rumor, The Séance, Number Five, The Horror and The White Violin. Together, they work to solve their father’s mysterious death while coming apart at the seams because of their divergent personalities and abilities. The series was praised for its alternate and twisted take on the superhero genre.
Steve Blackman (Fargo, Netflix’s Altered Carbon) serves as showrunner and executive produces alongside Bluegrass Television, Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg from Dark Horse Entertainment. Way will co-exec produce. The pilot script was adapted from the comic book series by Jeremy Slater (The Exorcist).
“I am thrilled that The Umbrella Academy has found a home at Netflix. I couldn’t think of a better place for the vision Gabriel Ba and myself had when creating the comic, and cannot wait for people to experience that world as a live action show,” Way said.
For Netflix, The Umbrella Academy joins a deep roster of Marvel dramas, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher and upcoming mini The Defenders.
“What drew us to The Umbrella Academy is that it’s wholly unique, visual and stylized,” said Cindy Holland, vp originals at 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. We’re excited to see this world and introduce these unforgettable heroes to Netflix members around the globe.”
Universal Cable Productions, which announced it was developing the project for TV as part of an overall deal with publisher Dark Horse Comics, is producing the series.
“It’s a thrill to be producing this wonderful show for Netflix,” said Jeff Wachtel, chief content officer at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and UCP president. “It’s been a passion project for the UCP development crew and we can’t wait to bring it to life.”
Comic book series continue to remain in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming platforms look for proven IP in a bid to cut through a crowded scripted landscape with 450-plus originals. Marvel also has The Runaways at Hulu, New Warriors at Freeform and FX’s Legion, as well as the upcoming The Gifted at Fox and Inhumans at ABC joining Agents of SHIELD, while DC has The CW’s Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning and Fox’s Gotham as well as Syfy’s Krypton. On the cable side, AMC has found massive success with The Walking Dead, based on the Image Comics title from Robert Kirkman.
The Umbrella Academy is the first Universal Cable Productions series to land at Netflix, which more recently has been focused on owning its originals.
Splash Report reported the Netflix rumor last week.