Here’s what to expect from ‘The Umbrella Academy’, with some commentary from Robert Sheehan and David Castaneda

Here’s what to expect from ‘The Umbrella Academy’, with some commentary from Robert Sheehan and David Castaneda

You know, aside from the fact that it’s adapted from Gerard Way’s bestselling comic.

By now, you’ve probably already seen the trailer of The Umbrella Academy, Netflix’s upcoming live-action adaptation of the comic book series of the same name.

Former My Chemical Romance lead vocalist Gerard Way and comic book artist Gabriel Bá developed The Umbrella Academy back in 2007, earning a following through the comic book’s familiar-yet-different premise. Think: the complexity of X-Men with the packaging of The Incredibles, written by the guy responsible for your mid-’00s emo phase.

At the Netflix See What’s Next event in Singapore last November, actors Robert Sheehan and David Castaneda, who play Klaus and Diego Hargreeves respectively, filled us in on what it was like bringing the series to life.


On Gerard Way’s involvement

David recalled how Gerard was there to watch the cast during production, saying that he was “very nice.” Robert adds, “[He was] delightfully enthusiastic during the read through as well. He said ‘Great! You’re doing really well,’ and that was like catnip to us.”


On the series staying true to the book

The story jumps off from a peculiar day in 1989, when 43 women give birth at the same time, though they showed no signs of pregnancy the day before. Eccentric billionaire Reginald Hargreeves adopts seven of these children (who, in true superhero fashion, happen to have powers), creating The Umbrella Academy and training them to save the world.

This plan backfires, with the childrens’ divergent personalities causing them all to have a falling out. Of the seven, we meet Lucas (Tom Hopper), Diego (David Castaneda), Allison (Emmy Raver Lampman), Vanya (Ellen Page), Klaus (Robert Sheehan), and Number Five (Aidan Gallagher), who find themselves back together upon hearing the news of their father’s death.

According to Robert, the show of course had to somewhat deviate from the comic due to the difficulty of fitting all the source material into 10 hours of T.V. “Tonally, it’s really strong. It grabs you [from] page one and sort of declares itself, so the show is very faithful to the graphic novel in that respect.”

On getting to play comic book characters

Playing comic book characters was a thrilling experience for both actors, given their childhood connection with cartoons and sci-fi fantasy. Robert’s character Klaus has the ability to communicate with the dead, while David’s character Diego is gifted with enhanced knife-throwing abilities.

David revealed that he loves anime, having watched Dragon Ball (and Dragon Ball Z, if you wanna be technical about it) since he was seven years old. Robert, on the other hand, grew up on weekly British comics The Dandy and The Beano, which he says were “pretty simplistic, entertaining stuff,” aside from the sci-fi and fantasy novels he loved.


On Robert’s character on Misfits

Robert drew comparisons between Klaus and his Misfits character Nathan, who he thinks are both equally chaotic beings. “With Nathan, there was a sort of safety in his chaos because no matter the situation, he was far more sure of himself,” said Robert when asked if he thought the two were similar. “He was always a complete fucking moron. But he was very assured, so that put him in the past and the future. With Klaus, he’s always in the state of transformation.”


Watch the trailer for The Umbrella Academy below.

The Umbrella Academy premieres Feb. 15 on Netflix.

#comics #tv

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