Way said he first got the idea when he read Hellboy by Mike Magnolia and wanted to create a horror comic for superheroes. He said he began drawing the characters backstage of shows.
“Yeah, ‘cause you have so much time to kill on the road. Let’s say you’re playing at 8 o’clock at night. You’re just sitting there all day, so I just started drawing them,” Way said. “I wrote down a list of interests that I had — everything from seances, tarot cards, fortune tellers, Just all this stuff. … And then I tried to make characters based off those interests.”
Way also revealed that the group of superheroes wasn’t initially a family
“They were just this collection of weirdos. And I remember the moment where I was like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna make them related.’ It changed everything,” Way said.
Executive producer Steve Blackman was also in the interview and discussed the importance of brining Way’s comics to life on screen. Way was discussing how he loved the way Spaceboy was handled in the show.
“We agonize over these things because I want Gerard to be happy. I want him to respect it because this is the thing he and Gabriel birthed years ago,” Blackman said.
Way also discussed how important comics are in his life.
“Comics really ended up being a big part of my life. I just wanted a break from music, in some ways. After the solo tour went really well, I was like, ‘Well, what do I do now?’” Way said.
“I felt like being a writer for a couple of years and working on that craft. ‘Cause it’s super challenging, writing. And I wanted to be around my family. I work from home. I have a studio separate from the house, and I just go to work every day and then come in when I’m done,” he continued.
He added that in the future, he’s bringing the DC series Doom Patrol in the spring as well as two other books that he’s working on. On the music side, he stayed pretty cryptic.
“At some point, we’re going to discuss really making an album or music or something like that,” he said. Why does he always have to tease us like that?
So, Ellen Page will play Vanya, the black sheep of her dysfunctional family of superheroes, known as the Umbrella Academy. The rest of the dysfunctional family include Luther (Tom Hopper), Diego (David Castañeda), Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), Vanya (Page), Klaus (Robert Sheehan) and Number Five (Aidan Gallagher). The story follows the family as they “work together to solve their father’s mysterious death while coming apart at the seams due to their divergent personalities and abilities.”
Also, Jeremy Slater writes the pilot script. Way will serve as co-executive producer, Deadline explains. The series has 10 episodes.
The Umbrella Academy just dropped on Netflix. Check out the trailer for the series below.