How to explain its great success? ‘Umbrella Academy’Is it a series that throws the conventions of the superhero genre overboard, like the comics it inspired by Gerard Way (screenplay) and Gabriel Bá (drawing)? your creator, Steve Blackmanwas Noah Hawley’s right-hand man in ‘Legion’; that is, he knows that unusual stories about superheroes can be received with relative enthusiasm.
“The thing is, I don’t see him as a series of superheroes,” he tells us on a video call. “I got involved in the project because I saw the story of a dysfunctional family. And that’s what I love to write about. About families and the kind of flaws and quirks anyone can relate to. So it can attract a very diverse audience.”
Sir Reginald Hargreeves, a billionaire inventor, in the free adaptation of Blackman (“the comics are so crazy”)colm feore) adopts seven of forty-three children born on the same day from single mothers who have never given any indication of being pregnant. Many of these unlikely creatures have supernatural powers that Hargreeves hopes to help them use so they can use them to bring justice.
Sparrows are coming
In the first season of the series, strongman Luther (Tom Hopper), knifemaker Diego (David Castaneda), recommendation expert Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), the reluctant spiritist Klaus (Robert Sheehan), space-time explorer Five (Aidan Gallagher) and violinist (among other things) Vanya (Elliot’s Page) saw a sad family reunion turn into a struggle against the apocalypse. In the second, they also tried to stop the end of the world, this time in the sixties and intertwining their fates with the JFK assassination. Pretty much the same thing happens with the third, after returning to 2019, they gave rise to a black hole that dissolved all life forms in its path.
Blackman and crew continue to joke about the ease with which Hargreeves flirts with the apocalypse, but this new season, which premieres on Wednesday, the 22nd on Netflix, introduces significant innovations to the formula. Six Big New Features: The alternate Hargreeves brothers our heroes encounter in 2019 are different from what they actually knew. Umbrella Academy is here, Sparrow Academy, which is far more talented on the superhero front. “We wanted to play with a different dynamic,” explains Blackman: “Instead of seeing the family fighting within itself, we wanted to see the family versus another family. I usually distinguish them by saying that Umbrellas are brothers who don’t know how to be superheroes, and Sparrows are superheroes who don’t know how to be sisters.Justin H. Min repeats as Ben (a ghost from the original family, but clearly visible here); the rest of the Hargreeves are new signings, incl. Genesis Rodriguez Like Sloane in antigravity, which Luther would take a non-fraternal interest in.
From Vanya to Viktor
According to Blackman, ‘Umbrella Academy’ is at its core, a ‘call to accept differences’, an idea especially relevant for season three, where we see how Hargreeves deals with one particular announcement from Vanya: it will happen now. Victor. It is a fictionalized reflection of the moment in December 2020 when Ellen Page announced on social networks that she was trans and responded on behalf of Elliot.
“At first, Elliot approached me privately and said he was going to switch,” Blackman recalls. “The scripts were written by then. I didn’t know much about the trans community, so I applied to GLAAD. [la organización que vela por la correcta representación y la aceptación de la comunidad LGBTQ]who put me in touch with the trans scriptwriter Thomas Page McBee. Elliot and I looked for a way to introduce this element without imposing it or taking it too far from the plot. It wasn’t meant to be a plot in itself, just a variation that should be introduced as elegantly as possible.”
According to GLAAD’s own data, The number of transgender characters slightly increased during the 2021-2022 US television season (when 14) compared to 2020-2021 (when 12). In other words, something needs to be done but we are on the right track. Blackman is proud to bring Viktor to the next showdown. “Also, it’s a positive story,” he says. “There’s a lot of transphobia right now, and if we can help a trans child feel better, be more companionable, we’ve done our job.”
The importance of a song
Blackman often talks about the directors who left their mark on the show. wes anderson, something that can be seen in the use of songs: they are not simple compelling embellishments, but an integral part of the stories and their visualizations. “I’m actually trying to encourage my colleagues to annotate the songs in the scripts. At least when I write, I get a lot of inspiration from them. Sometimes the choice is very clear and I already like it. But we also look at it. it’s ridiculous, the song doesn’t make sense in that context, and it’s also perfect”.
we have seen recently Kate Bush Run lists thanks to ‘Stranger things’. Does Blackman envision something similar to ‘Running up that Hill’ in this season’s songs? There’s a version of Katy Perry’s ‘Youth Dream’ from a band called recoveryThis may surprise people. Unknown and like a ballad. I still remember Tiffany saying ‘I think we’re alone now’ and she texted me and thanked me for pulling their number off with a song from thirty years ago. I was so happy!”