'Umbrella Academy' has been garnering immense praise from viewers since it was released on Netflix in February. If you've been hooked on the dysfunctional superhero family, here are 10 things you might not know about the show. *Spoilers Ahead*
The show is based on the graphic novels written by the lead singer of My Chemical Romance.
This Netflix series follows the storyline of 'Apocalypse Suite' which was the first six-issue limited series to follow the seven siblings. The graphic novel series was written by Gerard Way from the punk/rock band My Chemical Romance, and illustrated by Gabriel Ba. Way began to write the series when his band was on the verge of breaking up, mixing elements of X-Men, Watchmen, and Doom Patrol. Originally, the comic series was set to be a blockbuster for Universal, but all of the conversations didn't end up going anywhere.
Tom Hopper was the first actor to be cast
Hopper, who plays Number 1, Luther, was the first of the siblings cast in a role on the show. In an interview with Metro, The British actor said that there was a lot of waiting around while the producers cast the rest of his siblings. He did a lot of "chemistry reads with some early Allison choices and potential hires" but none of them came to fruition. He didn't actually get to meet Emmy Raver-Lampman until she was already cast in the role of Number 3, Allison.
While Mary J. Blige didn't audition at all
Blige, who has a few acting credits to her name, only had to read the script to get the part of time-travelling serial killer Cha-Cha. Although that was the easy part - she then had to nail the martial arts training. She said, "It was about five months of training for the martial arts – that was the longest, hardest part for me. The guns were easy, I knew how to shoot a gun before I got to set; I didn’t have to train for that. But the martial arts was very hard. Very hard."
The Game of Thrones link
Speaking of Tom Hopper - did you recognise him from one of the biggest TV series ever created? Hopper played Dickon Tarly in 'Game of Thrones.' Unfortunately, he didn't get much screen time and only lasted four episodes before succumbing to a rather horrible death with his father, at the hands of Daenerys Targaryen. We'll be seeing his older brother Sam in the final season when it hits TV screens in April.
Modern technology doesn't exist in their world
You might have noticed that nobody has mobile phones or slimline computers in the series - and that's because modern technology simply doesn't exist. It was probably one of the most refreshing things about the series, compared to our world where technology is unavoidably taking over control. Robert Sheehan and Ellen Page agreed with this. In an interview with Screenrant, Page said that "Cell phones are just ruining narrative." Sheehan backed her up while also contradicting himself, by saying "people are dying for a break [...] even though you're probably watching it on a phone."
*That* dancing scene was an important one for the show
While watching the first episode of 'Umbrella Academy' there's a lot of information to take in, and you're still trying to work out if this is a series for you. However, one of the highlights from the premiere is the siblings dancing to Tiffany's 'I Think We're Alone Now.' As awkward as Ellen Page looks while bopping around, showrunner Steve Blackman said that the scene had to be included in the final cut.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the director said "They think they’re so different, but in that one moment, with that one song playing, they’re all dancing. They think no one else is, but they’re all doing the same thing. Deep down, they’re all desperate for the same thing, which is acceptance and being a part of a family again. If only they could just take a minute to tell each other! But they won’t, and that’s the fun of the show, seeing if maybe one day they’ll figure it out and also possibly save the world."
— NX (@NXOnNetflix) February 15, 2019
Aiden Gallagher (Number 5) wasn't allowed in the building if a gun was going off
Number 5 is one of the stand-outs of Netflix's series, and that's all thanks to 15-year-old Aiden Gallagher. Playing a senior citizen who is trapped in the body of a teenager isn't easy - but Gallagher does it with such style and creativity, that you'd be forgiven for thinking he was much older. Cameron Britton, who played Cha-Cha's colleague Hazel, spoke of how impressed he was with the teen's acting ability. He said, "He does that grown up so well that any scenes you have dialogue with him in you often forget you’re performing with a kid."
However, due to Gallagher's age, filming scenes with him that involved guns aren't actually him - they're his stunt-double. Britton revealed, "Because of the child working laws he wasn’t even allowed in the building if a gun was going off! So, we were actually shooting with his body double."
Klaus and Allison's powers have been changed
As the TV series is based on a graphic novel of the same name, some things just had to be changed to make it more believable. For example, Allison's ability in the comics is for her words to bend reality, while in the show, they bend the wills and emotions of others instead. Klaus' superpower, on the other hand, has been changed quite a bit more dramatically. The comic version of Klaus' abilities is rather random - he's a powerful telekinetic, with the ability to talk to the dead, and can even possess people. However, he loses his powers whenever he wears a pair of shoes. Yes, really.
There's a second season on the way
'Umbrella Academy' has been the biggest digital show in the US so far this year, so naturally a second season has been greenlit at Netflix. We were left with a lot of unanswered questions at the end of the season, such as - will season two take place when the siblings were children? And if so, does that mean Number 6 (Ben) will be joining them? And are the other 36 children who weren't adopted by Reginald Hargreeves just walking around with super powers too? Hopefully all will be answered when season two arrives at some point in the future.
Theories about Reginald Hargreeves
There's a few theories knocking around about what's going to happen to the members of 'Umbrella Academy' next season. One theory in particular points at their father becoming a more prominent character. We did get tidbits of information about Hargreeves' backstory - but what we saw raised more questions than answers to be honest. The theory suggests that Hargreeves is actually their real father and that he is the one who gave them their powers. Oh, and he was also an alien. You can read the full theory here.