The Umbrella Academy show inspired Gerard Way to continue one character’s story
Season 2 of Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy tosses the six Hargreeves siblings again to an unfamiliar time and place: Dallas, Texas within the 1960s. Whereas that selection of setting may seem random to viewers of the present, followers of the graphic novel sequence will know that the second quantity is subtitled “Dallas.”
However like with the primary season, The Umbrella Academy isn’t a direct translation of Gerard Means’s comedian. The setting — and the Kennedy assassination — is maybe all of the second season of the present shares with the second quantity of the graphic novel.
Showrunner Steve Blackman tells Polygon that the concept of straight adapting the graphic novel was discarded early in manufacturing, however that working intently with author Means has allowed him to play with the characters and ideas freely to adapt for tv in a method that retains the spirit of the e book, if not the precise supply.
“Early on, we realized there’s a graphic novel story after which there’s a tv story and never all of it will likely be the identical. However what’s pretty about Gerard [Way] is he’s very collaborative. I exploit the supply materials as a springboard and I wish to be very respectful to the followers,” defined Blackman in a telephone name forward of season 2’s launch. “I like discovering moments and tales that mirror that graphic novel. However TV is a distinct beast and I’ve 10 hours to inform a narrative. And in a season of our present it’s 10 days, so I can’t do all the pieces the graphic novel does. I’ve to form of zero in on a selected piece or elements that I like.”
In season 2, Blackman prioritized the long-lasting visuals of the graphic novel over adapting it beat for beat. The design of the Fee chief AJ Carmichael, a fish in a tank propelling a human physique, was particularly one thing he wished to nail.
As a result of each the graphic novel and the present are popping out on the similar time and parallel with each other, it’s not simply the Netflix sequence pulling from the graphic novel. Blackman says that the collaboration with Means has turn out to be a two-way road.
“We’re at a degree now, the place typically issues we put within the TV present encourage the graphic novel. Gerard’s like Oh, that’s actually cool. I’m gonna work it into the story. The 2 universes are coming collectively, which is fantastic,” he defined.
He pointed particularly to the best way that the TV present makes use of Ben, the sixth sibling who died earlier than the occasions of each the graphic novel and the Netflix sequence.
“Gerard beloved how we saved the Ben story going with him being Klaus’ nemesis,” stated Blackman. “The irony being [Ben is the] most intuitive character, however he has the worst translator in Klaus. Gerard actually loves that and I feel he’s working that into the graphic novel.”
[Ed. notice: The remainder of this text incorporates large spoilers for the tip of the second season of The Umbrella Academy]
With regards to a possible third season, Blackman says that the massive cliffhanger of the second season gestated over a yr in the past with Means. Within the final moments of season two, the Hargreeves handle to get again to 2019 — solely to understand that someplace alongside the best way, they altered the timeline, leaving them in a model of 2019 the place their brother Ben remains to be alive, Reginald Hargreeves has by no means met them earlier than, and the Umbrella Academy is named the Sparrow Academy. Blackman says it was a real second of synergy, the place concepts that the 2 of them had individually collided in an thrilling method.
“It’s one thing I talked to Gerard about over a yr in the past. It’s the place I do know he’s going to,” stated Blackman. “He’s already began in quantity three of the graphic novel, which is out. We talked about it going ahead. I had the same concept. Once I discovered he was doing the Sparrows, I acquired actually excited. I knew I actually wished to go someplace with it.”
The third quantity of the graphic novel doesn’t have the identical setup because the final moments of season 2, however a fourth quantity — subtitled Sparrow Academy — is within the works. Each the present and the comedian are doubtlessly working towards the identical concept — however with out a confirmed date for the following installments of both, it’s very attainable that the TV sequence could beat the comics, a conundrum anybody who’s uttered “the anime is forward of the manga” is aware of properly. Besides, after all, Means and Blackman appear content material to bounce concepts off one another and see their respective properties not as variations however interpretations of each other.
The Umbrella Academy season 2 is at the moment streaming on Netflix.
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