Gerard Way Talks ‘The Umbrella Academy’ Netflix Series & Why the World is Ready For Superheroes With Demons


The official trailer for the Netflix adaption arrived immediately (Jan. 24).

Twelve years after Gerard Way unveiled the primary installment of his comedian guide sequence The Umbrella Academy, the singer is seeing his dysfunctional superhero story come to life on display. Netflix has tailored the comedian for a 10-episode TV sequence known as The Umbrella Academy, with the official trailer arriving immediately (Jan. 24).

The present — which debuts on Netflix Feb. 15 — marks one other dream come true for Way, as he at all times envisioned the comedian sequence on a display. The former My Chemical Romance frontman is credited as co-executive producer for the Netflix adaption, and showrunner Steve Blackman (Fargo, Private Practice) made certain each Way and The Umbrella Academy illustrator Gabriel Bá have been as concerned as doable. In flip, the TV sequence has all the identical bizarre concepts because the comics, which was notably necessary to Way.

The story's wackiness is obvious within the present's trailer, which sees six estranged super-human relations reunite upon the passing of their adoptive father Sir Reginald Hargreeves. Coincidentally the superhero reunion comes as the specter of an apocalypse arrives, with solely eight days to cease it — so the crew instantly will get to work. The trailer additionally options Way's electrical cowl of The Bangles' "Hazy Shade Of Winter," setting the tone for the present's facetious vibe and excessive happenings — in addition to his personal music the present has impressed.

Ahead of the trailer's launch, Way chatted with Billboard about bringing The Umbrella Academy to life on display, the musical facet of the present, and why the world is prepared for a crew of flawed superheroes.

You’ve mentioned that one among your favourite issues concerning the sequence is that the showrunners "saved the bizarre concepts." Was that one thing you have been involved about when the present was first conceptualized?

That was a priority of mine means again when Universal Pictures had it as a movie possibility. At the time, the world actually wasn’t prepared for one thing like Umbrella Academy, so there have been some instructions that Universal had gone with it to take a few of the weirdness out, and I wasn’t actually completely satisfied about that. But afterward, years handed, and now the world is prepared for one thing deeper on superheroes, and so they’re prepared to maneuver previous the origin story.

What makes you are feeling just like the world is prepared now for a superhero sequence like this?

In the 10 years that’s been out, we’ve had loads of superhero films, and I really feel like a few of them saved progressing ahead and ahead to the purpose the place now we see a Marvel movie and so they’re actually bringing Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s world to life. It’s actually like a residing, respiratory comedian guide now. So individuals are able to go deeper on superheroes to cope with dysfunction and demons and habit, however you gained’t actually discover a comedian going so deep in a mainstream comedian.

You've additionally mentioned that comics have been your first publicity to issues like psychological well being consciousness and group remedy – would you say that The Umbrella Academy TV present has introduced a brand new layer to that?

Yes, I feel in some methods it does cope with psychological well being, and it offers with loads of actually fractured people. It’s humorous — we haven’t seen it but within the comedian, however the Umbrella Academy is a gaggle of individuals that may actually profit from group remedy.

Are there any characters you’re notably enthusiastic about?

I actually like how Steve [Blackman] dealt with Spaceboy. At first he type of pitched me on it and I used to be like, “Oh, I don’t know if that’s going to work,” after which it labored extraordinarily properly. I feel he made that character comprehensible to a broad viewers. Also, Spaceboy is carrying garments. The humorous factor about that’s that no solely does it make extra sense to me that he’s carrying garments, it actually provides to the character.

Some of the characters went in just a little little bit of a special course, like Klaus within the comics is this type of dry goth, and he’s just a little bit sexier within the present. The means Robert performs him is sexier and possibly just a little extra rock ‘n’ roll.

But all of them did an exceptional job. And they actually cared about this. It was so great to look at this forged work and produce their very own concepts to those roles. They all had concepts, and so they made them much more fleshed out. And the forged will get alongside splendidly, which I’ve been informed isn’t a typical factor [Laughs]. Apparently they have been going to dinner collectively on a regular basis. They have some actually onerous scenes collectively within the present, and I’m like, “Man, how are they going to dinner after this?”

The present additionally stars Mary J. Blige as Cha-Cha. How do you are feeling about how she introduced that character to life, particularly as a result of it's a male within the comedian guide?

I used to be so extremely floored and blown away that she even wished to have something to do with one thing that I used to be making doodles of on airplanes. I like the truth that Cha-Cha is a lady and I like that it’s Mary. She brings a lot to the position. It’s superb.

One of the actually nice variations of the present is that it’s extra various in its casting than the supply materials. And that was one thing that we talked about very early on that we wished to right from the supply materials. It was the proper situation for that to occur as a result of they have been all adopted, so it was type of a no brainer. I feel range is the most effective change.

How does what you envisioned for the comedian whenever you first began writing it examine to the way it ended up, each in its storyline and within the TV present?

The factor I like essentially the most concerning the present is that the core of it’s actually there — the dysfunction and the relationships and the characters. To me, it was at all times concerning the characters. Even again then once I was first conceptualizing these characters — I worth characters a lot and so they drive the story.

[As for what’s] modified, I’m writing Hotel Oblivion proper now, and it displays extra who I’m in my 40s than who I used to be in my 30s, once I was writing the final ones. I’ve a street map of eight graphic novels whole when all is claimed and executed, and a few of these issues have modified so many instances. There was such a spot that each time I went to work on Hotel Oblivion once more, that I wanted to make it new, contemporary, and mirror who I’m. I feel, in methods, the present actually does that. It appears at this authentic supply materials, but it surely updates it in loads of methods. Even although it’s a timeless factor, it feels very present.

Can you give an instance of how who you’re in your 40s impacted the story in comparison with who you have been in your 30s?

[The characters] cope with trauma and their previous just a little otherwise now. You perceive your childhood a bit higher as you hit your 40s, and I feel they’re all beginning to perceive their childhood a bit higher. They’re beginning to actually ask themselves questions on Hargreeves and what he was actually doing — they’re consistently studying issues about their father.

I figured fatherhood most likely additionally had an affect on how the story has continued.

Absolutely. Becoming a father or mother is the important thing to understanding your individual mother and father.

You've additionally beforehand alluded that real-world political occasions have had an affect on how this storyline has unfolded. Can you elaborate on that?

It’s loopy — [the story] has needed to change, however had we by no means taken a break from Umbrella Academy the comedian, I feel we’d’ve appeared like whole geniuses or storytellers with the place the story was heading politically [Laughs]. Politics have been changing into a think about Umbrella Academy, however all these notes and concepts have been from the Obama period. We’ll nonetheless see that, but it surely’s not an correct portrayal by far of our present local weather and the nation.

[The show] says some issues, as a result of good artwork talks about what’s happening on the earth typically. But there’s a particular division that occurs within the comedian sequence, and politics turn into an element in the midst of this story arc. Then towards the tip of the graphic novels, it begins to shift in a special course. So there’s type of a shift in the midst of the story that offers with America in a giant means.

Well and even simply within the trailer, there’s an apocalypse, and a few individuals could also be feeling like there’s an apocalypse coming with our present state of the world [Laughs].

Absolutely. That apocalypse actually exists due to what I witnessed with 9/11, which is type of another excuse why I began [My Chemical Romance]. I used to be writing Umbrella Academy after we have been engaged on The Black Parade, and that very first video that Sam Bayer directed ["Welcome To The Black Parade"], it type of appears like 9/11 and Ground Zero. And then whenever you see the apocalypse in Umbrella Academy when Number Five goes again there, it type of appears like Ground Zero. Reflections of real-world stuff.

And yeah, you’re completely proper, individuals are most likely afraid there is likely to be an apocalypse sooner or later given the state of the world, so in that means, yeah, a decade later, it’s actually related, the tip of the world.

Also featured within the trailer is your cowl of "Hazy Shade of Winter." "I Think We're Alone Now" was featured within the preliminary teaser for the Netflix sequence as properly — is '80s music going to play a job in soundtracking the present?

The soundtrack actually runs this complete spectrum. If you requested me once I was writing the comedian, the ‘90s have been a giant a part of the soundtrack in my head: The Pixies and Teenage Fanclub, that type of stuff. Steve has a really distinct concept of what he needs the songs to be, as a result of he writes the songs into the script — so I didn’t get to weigh in very a lot on the soundtrack of the present.

[“Hazy Shade of Winter”] was a scenario the place I received to weigh in as a result of we would have liked a track for the trailer, and I recommended we do “Hazy Shade of Winter” the best way The Bangles did it for the Less Than Zero soundtrack and use them as a information, and he beloved it.

We have Jeff Russo doing the rating, and he did an incredible job. There have been very early conversations about me probably scoring, however there was no means given my schedule that may work. But I’m certain down the road I’ll be overlaying extra songs for the present.

Has the TV adaptation impressed any music of your individual?

It has. When I used to be on set the very first day and we have been watching the very first shot which was a scene between Ellen [Page, who plays Vanya] and Aidan [Gallagher, who plays Number Five], it’s the final shot of the pilot and so they’re speaking concerning the finish of the world and it’s supposed to chop to black. And a track popped into my head for that, and I began penning this track that I ended up recording. I haven’t completed it but, but it surely’s a track I’d love to provide to the present.

Are you doing the rest music-related for the time being? Or simply specializing in Umbrella Academy?

I’ve been writing rather a lot. There’s three issues which are type of the main focus of my life apart from household as being a very powerful factor. One, writing these two comics I write, Umbrella Academy and Doom Patrol. Two, making music as soon as per week and releasing new songs — I used to be making an attempt to do it each month but it surely’s now going to show into longer gaps of releasing songs. And then my well-being is the opposite factor, like my bodily health and my food plan, making massive life modifications and quitting smoking, issues like that. I didn’t deal with myself for the final two, three years writing comedian books. I’m beginning to actually deal with myself once more.