|The Umbrella Academy|
|Created by||Steve Blackman|
|Based on||The Umbrella Academy|
by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá
|Developed by||Jeremy Slater|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||20 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||40–60 minutes|
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
|Picture format||4K UHDTV 2160p|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital|
|Original release||February 15, 2019 –|
The Umbrella Academy is an American black comedy superhero streaming television series based on the comic book series of the same name written by Gerard Way. Created for Netflix by Steve Blackman and developed by Jeremy Slater, it revolves around a dysfunctional family of adopted sibling superheroes who reunite to solve the mystery of their father's death and the threat of an imminent apocalypse. The series is produced by Borderline Entertainment, Dark Horse Entertainment, and Universal Cable Productions.
The ensemble cast features Elliot Page,[a] Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Cameron Britton, Mary J. Blige, John Magaro, Adam Godley, Colm Feore, Justin H. Min, Ritu Arya, Yusuf Gatewood, Marin Ireland, and Kate Walsh. The adaptation began development as a film optioned by Universal Pictures in 2011. It was eventually shelved in favor of a television series in 2015, before being officially greenlit by Netflix in July 2017. The series is filmed in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario.
The first season was released on Netflix on February 15, 2019. In April 2019, Netflix reported that 45 million households had watched season one during its first month of release, thus becoming one of the most streamed series of the year. That same month following the success of the first season, the series was renewed for a second season, which was released on July 31, 2020. Both seasons received positive reviews from critics. In November 2020, the series was renewed for a third season.
The Umbrella Academy is set in a universe where 43 women around the world give birth simultaneously at 12:00 PM on October 1, 1989, despite none of them showing any sign of pregnancy until labor began. Seven of the children are adopted by eccentric billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves and turned into a superhero team that he calls "The Umbrella Academy." Hargreeves gives the children numbers rather than names, but they eventually are named by their robot-mother, Grace, as Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Five, Ben, and Vanya. While putting six of his children to work fighting crime, Reginald keeps Vanya apart from her siblings' activities, as she supposedly demonstrates no powers of her own.
The first season is set in the present day, where Luther is part ape and has lived on the moon for four years, Allison is a famous actress, Vanya is a violinist, Klaus has a drug addiction, Five disappeared sixteen years earlier, Ben, now deceased, is a ghost able to converse only with Klaus, and Diego has become a vigilante with a penchant for trouble. The estranged siblings learn that Reginald has died and gather for his funeral. Five returns from the future, revealing that a global apocalypse is imminent, but is chased by time-travelling operatives Hazel and Cha-Cha. Meanwhile, the reunited siblings try to uncover the secrets behind Reginald Hargreeves' life, as their dysfunctional relationships are strained further.
The second season takes place immediately after the first season. Failing to stop the apocalypse, the siblings are forced to travel back in time, but it goes awry, scattering them across different years in 1960s Dallas. Five ends up on November 25, 1963, in the middle of a nuclear doomsday, but with the help of Hazel manages to travel back ten days. While being hunted by a trio of Swedish assassins, Five finds his siblings, who have each made new lives, and attempts to reunite them in order to stop this new apocalypse.
|1||10||February 15, 2019|
|2||10||July 31, 2020|
|Title||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original release date|
|1||1||"We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals"||Peter Hoar||Jeremy Slater||February 15, 2019|
|In 1989, forty-three women simultaneously give birth, despite showing no prior signs of pregnancy. Seven of the children are found and adopted by eccentric billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves, who raises them as a superhero team. Hargreeves calls the children by number, one through seven, but Grace, their android mother, gives them names. Years later the surviving children are grown, and reluctantly reunite for Hargreeves' funeral. The monocle that he always wore is missing after his death, leading Luther (Number One) to suspect foul play. Number Five, who disappeared 16 years before, appears in a ball of blue energy, claiming to have returned from the future. He has his 13-year-old body but claims that he is fifty-eight years old. Tensions emerge among the siblings, and Diego gets into a fight with Luther that destroys a statue of their dead brother, Ben. Later, Five is visiting a doughnut shop when several armed men enter and open fire. After killing the men, he removes a tracker embedded in his arm. It is revealed that Diego has the monocle and that Klaus can talk to Ben's ghost. Five arrives at Vanya's apartment and warns his estranged sister that the world will end in eight days.|
|2||2||"Run Boy Run"||Andrew Bernstein||Steve Blackman||February 15, 2019|
|Vanya thinks Five's mind has been corrupted by time travel, and that the world will not really end. Agents Cha-Cha and Hazel arrive at a motel and begin to track their target. Luther learns that Diego had a boxing match at the time of their father's death, which rules him out as a suspect, and Vanya meets her latest violin student, Leonard. Partly assisted by Klaus, Number Five tries to find out the origin of a prosthetic eye he found in the future, knowing that its owner will soon destroy the world. The brothers learn, however, that the eye has yet to be manufactured in the present. Five visits a department store to see "Delores", a store mannequin who was his companion for thirty years, and is attacked by Cha-Cha and Hazel. Diego's former friend, Detective Eudora Patch, investigates the deaths at the doughnut shop, but her only witness has already been interrogated by Diego. As Allison watches old surveillance videos of her childhood to cheer herself up, she finds a disturbing tape of her father. It is revealed that in the apocalyptic future, Five found his siblings dead and removes the prosthetic eye from Luther's clutch.|
|3||3||"Extra Ordinary"||Andrew Bernstein||Ben Nedivi & Matt Wolpert||February 15, 2019|
|After Allison shows Luther the videotape of what looks like Grace, the siblings' android "mother", serving poisoned tea to their father, the two ask their mother about the incident. The android claims to remember nothing about it, but the siblings suspect that she is hiding something. Vanya struggles with her violin skill and she and Leonard get to know each other better. Number Five starts an observation of the manufacturer of the prosthetic eye. Agnes, the waitress at the doughnut cafe, describes the umbrella tattoo of Number Five to Cha-Cha and Hazel, leading them to the Hargreeves's house. As Luther and Allison gather the rest of their siblings to watch the footage, Diego reveals he took the monocle from Grace after the funeral and threw it away. The siblings disagree on whether to turn off Grace or not. Cha-Cha and Hazel break into the Hargreeves's house and attack Luther, Diego, Allison, and Vanya, but flee and kidnap Klaus when the siblings fight back. Diego finally turns off Grace, as she is totally oblivious of the fight and shows other malfunctions.|
|4||4||"Man on the Moon"||Ellen Kuras||Lauren Schmidt Hissrich||February 15, 2019|
|Seven years ago, Hargreeves sends Luther on a mission that goes severely wrong. To save his life, Hargreeves injects Luther with a serum that also transforms his body into that of an ape. In the present, Allison and Luther find the deactivated Grace and assume the hit-men shut her off. Leonard and Vanya bond and agree to go to dinner. Meanwhile, Cha-cha and Hazel torture Klaus to get information about Five. When they begin to destroy Klaus's drugs, he gives up information, and after sobering up, he begins to see their dead victims. Five threatens the man from Meritech to get more information about the prosthetic eye. Cha-cha and Hazel, now aware of Five's investigation, go to the lab and set it aflame. Diego and Luther find Five passed out drunk. Patch goes to the motel to search for the two hit-men and frees Klaus but gets killed by Cha-cha. Klaus escapes through the vents with the briefcase. As he opens the briefcase, he time travels.|
|5||5||"Number Five"||Ellen Kuras||Bob DeLaurentis||February 15, 2019|
|A flashback shows Number Five's life in the apocalyptic future. He is eventually approached by the Handler, representing an organization called the Commission. She offers him a job. He works some time for them by killing people throughout history until he finds a way to return to the present day. Allison suspects that Leonard is hiding something and makes inquiries, but Vanya dismisses her concerns and becomes angry with her. Vanya stops taking her pills. When she auditions for the first chair in her orchestra, she gets it, but at the same time, a mysterious power within her appears. Klaus destroys the briefcase after returning from his time travel. He fought in the Vietnam War, lost someone close to him, and is heavily traumatized. Luther and Number Five trick the hit-men into setting up a meeting with the Handler in exchange for a different briefcase. She offers Number Five a new job, which he accepts under the condition that his family survives. Vanya gets first chair and tells Leonard. Unbeknownst to her, he killed the former first chair violinist. Pogo reactivates Grace and asks her to keep a secret from the kids.|
|6||6||"The Day That Wasn't"||Stephen Surjik||Sneha Koorse||February 15, 2019|
|Klaus's time jump lands him in the Vietnam war, where he falls in love with a soldier named Dave. Cha-cha is sent orders to terminate Hazel, and the Handler takes Five to the Commission's headquarters. Luther informs the Academy about the impending apocalypse but fails to inspire the group to fight. Vanya is angry at being excluded - she unknowingly causes a rainstorm and bends several streetlamps with her emerging powers. Klaus asks Diego to help him sober up, hoping to see Dave's ghost before the world ends. Luther feels betrayed when he discovers his moon research was pointless. Diego is shocked to discover that Grace has been reactivated. Luther and Allison confess their romantic feelings. Five intercepts orders to protect a man named Harold Jenkins and sends orders to Cha-Cha and Hazel, telling each to kill the other. Vanya discovers her father's notebook at Leonard's house, reads it, and learns her father knew about her powers and suppressed them. Five steals a time-traveling briefcase and flees the Commission. He arrives at the beginning of the episode, altering the timeline, and rallies his siblings to stop the apocalypse.|
|7||7||"The Day That Was"||Stephen Surjik||Ben Nedivi & Matt Wolpert||February 15, 2019|
|In 1989, Harold Jenkins is born from a normal pregnancy although his mother dies in labor. Harold idolizes the Umbrella Academy and believes he is like them; Reginald rejects Harold, telling him there is nothing special about him. Harold murders his abusive and alcoholic father and is sentenced to 12 years in prison. Five reveals they must locate Harold and stop him from causing the apocalypse. Diego learns that he is the prime suspect for Detective Patch's murder and Allison recognizes Harold as Leonard from a police file. Diego, Allison, and Five break into Leonard's house, discovering destroyed Umbrella Academy memorabilia, but their hunt is cut short after Five passes out from a shrapnel wound. Luther becomes depressed upon learning the truth behind his mission to the moon. He goes to a rave where he gets intoxicated. Klaus follows him and is knocked unconscious in a fight. He sees Reginald, who tells him that Klaus has not fully seen the potential of his powers, and that he orchestrated his own death in order to bring the six children together. Hazel receives orders to kill Cha-Cha but instead incapacitates her. Leonard and Vanya are harassed by a trio of thugs. They beat up Leonard, causing Vanya's powers to burst, killing two of them. Leonard recovers in the hospital, having lost his right eye in the event, while Allison goes looking for Vanya, and Diego is arrested.|
|8||8||"I Heard a Rumor"||Jeremy Webb||Lauren Schmidt Hissrich & Sneha Koorse||February 15, 2019|
|Unable to find Vanya, Allison accompanies a police officer investigating the attack on Leonard and Vanya under the guise that she is researching an acting role. As Leonard and Vanya leave the hospital, they learn that the third assailant survived. Allison and the officer question the assailant and learn that Leonard paid the thugs to attack him. Hazel runs away with Agnes, going on the trip she had always planned. Upon arriving at their first stop, he leaves her to take care of an issue but promises to return. Cha-Cha goes to Agnes' donut shop and discovers where they are heading. Leonard and Vanya go to the woods to train Vanya to develop her abilities, which grow stronger as she flashes back to her childhood training with Reginald. Reginald feared her powers were too great, so he isolated her and began medicating her to stabilize her emotions. Allison finally finds Vanya at the cabin and confesses that Reginald asked her to use her powers to convince Vanya she was ordinary. Vanya lashes out with her violin bow, slicing Allison's throat with her power. Leonard takes Vanya away and they leave Allison unconscious and bleeding.|
|9||9||"Changes"||Jeremy Webb||Bob DeLaurentis & Eric W. Phillips||February 15, 2019|
|A young Vanya uses her powers to attack several nannies before Reginald ultimately builds Grace. Leonard takes Vanya back to his home, where she is riddled with guilt. Allison survives and is rescued by her brothers. However, she is unable to speak. Klaus tries to get high again, prompting Ben to punch Klaus in the face and revealing that Ben was able to make physical contact thanks to Klaus' powers. At Leonard's, Vanya discovers Reginald's diary. Realizing Leonard's manipulation, she kills him in a fit of rage. His body is discovered by Vanya's siblings and Five matches the glass eye to Leonard. Hazel arrives at the Umbrella Academy to volunteer to help stop the apocalypse but learns from Five that with Jenkins dead, it is done. Hazel reveals Cha-Cha to be Patch's killer and leaves their guns to help exonerate Diego. Hazel returns to Agnes, only to find Cha-Cha has taken her hostage. Their fight is interrupted by the Handler. Allison awakes and reveals that Vanya has powers. Vanya returns to the house and Luther incapacitates her before locking her in an isolation chamber. The others protest but Luther refuses. Heartbroken and furious, Vanya gives into her dark powers and breaks out.|
|10||10||"The White Violin"||Peter Hoar||Steve Blackman||February 15, 2019|
|The siblings escape as Vanya destroys the mansion. Ben is able to physically interact, saving Diego from falling debris. Vanya confronts Pogo, who admits to his knowledge of her powers. She kills him, and Grace is destroyed when the building collapses. The siblings regroup at a bowling alley while Vanya prepares for her concert. Five meets the Handler at the motel, only to realize it is a distraction. The siblings escape for the Icarus Theatre, while Hazel and Cha-Cha are ordered to protect Vanya. However, Hazel betrays Cha-Cha and incapacitates her before returning to the motel, shooting the Handler, and rescuing Agnes. As the concert begins, the siblings fail to stop Vanya, and Commission soldiers enter the theatre. Ben manifests physically through Klaus and uses his powers to defeat the gunmen. Allison incapacitates Vanya, as her accumulated energy is redirected out into space and destroys the moon. Fragments begin to rain down upon the world, causing the Apocalypse. Having failed in their mission, Five suggests that they use his abilities to all travel back in time to stop the Apocalypse as a team. As the world is consumed, Hazel and Agnes escape, and the Umbrella Academy transport back in time just before the apocalypse can kill them.|
|Title||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original release date|
|11||1||"Right Back Where We Started"||Sylvain White||Steve Blackman||July 31, 2020|
|Five's time travel goes awry as his siblings end up in different years in 1960s Dallas. Five arrives on November 25, 1963, to find his siblings battling Soviet soldiers. An elderly Hazel appears, and he and Five escape before the world is destroyed by nuclear weapons. Hazel explains that was the apocalypse and that the Hargreeves siblings have ten days to stop it. Three Swedish assassins (Axel, Otto, and Oscar) arrive and kill Hazel, though Five escapes and ends up in the house of a man named Elliott, who agrees to help Five. The other siblings' lives are revealed: Luther is a bodyguard for Jack Ruby, Diego is a mental asylum inmate and wants to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Allison married a civil rights activist named Ray, Klaus started a cult, and Vanya, who has amnesia, is living with a married couple, Sissy and Carl, and is the nanny of their son Harlan. After being chased by the Swedish men, Diego escapes the asylum with Lila, a friend and fellow patient. Five finds Luther at the club and tells him about the situation, but Luther refuses to help.|
|12||2||"The Frankel Footage"||Stephen Surjik||Mark Goffman||July 31, 2020|
|Three months after being shot by Hazel, the Handler returns to the Commission and learns that she has been demoted by her boss, a talking fish named AJ. Carl is drunk at Jack Ruby's club — Vanya goes there to pick him up and Luther spots her. At Elliott's house, Five, Diego, and Lila watch a film that Hazel slipped into Five's pocket just before dying. Diego and Five see Reginald in the film holding an umbrella on Dealey Plaza, presumably during Kennedy's assassination. Ray is arrested, he and Klaus bond in jail, and Klaus gets released shortly after. When Allison visits Ray in jail she notices someone with the same hand tattoos as Klaus. Luther comes to Sissy's farm and apologizes to Vanya. She does not remember him and he leaves. Diego and Five sneak into Reginald's company, and Five comes across a young Pogo. Diego and Reginald fight and Reginald stabs Diego before walking away.|
|13||3||"The Swedish Job"||Stephen Surjik||Jesse McKeown||July 31, 2020|
|Back at Elliott's house, Lila is able to save Diego, and they have sex. Vanya goes out for the night and is intercepted by the white-haired assassins (now referred to as the Swedes). They chase her in a cornfield, shooting at her, but she uses her powers to stop them. Five finds her and explains the situation. Klaus talks to the police and gets Ray released. Ray goes home and finds Luther looking for Allison. Luther, who still has feelings for Allison, leaves after finding out that she is married. Meanwhile, Allison participates in a sit-in in a whites only diner, organized by Ray and other African Americans. Ray goes to the diner but is arrested with the rest of the protestors. Allison uses her powers to make a police officer stop beating Ray. Ray runs away from her, confused about who she truly is. Klaus finds Dave working at a paint store — he tells Ben that he wants to prevent Dave from enlisting to go to the Vietnam War. Lila leaves Diego and arrives at a hotel, where it is revealed that she works for the Commission alongside the Handler, whom she calls "mum".|
|14||4||"The Majestic 12"||Tom Verica||Bronwyn Garrity||July 31, 2020|
|Before returning to Diego, Lila is instructed by the Handler to protect Five at all costs. Vanya learns that she caused the original apocalypse and returns to the Cooper family. Allison is unable to explain to Ray what happened without revealing her power. She leaves and finds Luther, who tells her about the upcoming apocalypse. Diego, Lila, and Five visit a gala that Reginald is attending. Diego encounters a human Grace, who is romantically involved with Reginald. The trio is attacked by the Swedish assassins and fight them off, but Reginald leaves during the chaos of the fight. Lila chooses to protect Five and leaves Diego to fight two of the assassins. Harlan hears Vanya's plan to leave and runs away. She goes after him, finds his toy in a lake, and uses her powers to rescue him. Realizing that Harlan could die if she left, Vanya decides to stay. After failing to change Dave's mind about joining the Army, Klaus begins to drink and spends the night at Allison's. At Elliott’s house, Luther, high on nitrous oxide, reveals to Elliott that the apocalypse will arrive in seven days.|
|15||5||"Valhalla"||Tom Verica||Robert Askins||July 31, 2020|
|Vanya begins an intimate relationship with Sissy. At Elliott’s house, Luther tells Five and Diego that when he first arrived in Dallas, he went to the Academy to see Reginald. Reginald kicked him out, stating that he hates children and would never adopt seven of them. The trio regroups with the rest of the Academy to explain their current situation. Together, they search for Reginald, believing they all showed up in Dallas to save JFK. Having been kicked out of the group by Five, Lila goes back with the Handler to lure Five into meeting with them at an abandoned warehouse. The Swedish men are lured by finding one of Diego's knives in a tree, but it is a trap and Oscar is blown up. Vanya leaves the Cooper family after learning that Sissy is still sleeping with Carl. Luther and Diego receive an invitation to a light supper with Reginald, Klaus returns to his cult, and Allison tells Ray everything.|
|16||6||"A Light Supper"||Ellen Kuras||Aeryn Michelle Williams||July 31, 2020|
|At the warehouse The Handler tells Five that she will send his family safely back to 2019 if he kills the Commission's board at their quarterly meeting. The six siblings receive invitations to dine with Reginald, where they try to explain their current situation. Allison shows Ray her powers, Diego tells Grace that Reginald plans to kill JFK, and Carl spies on Sissy and Vanya as they make love in a car. Having been told by the Handler that Diego killed their brother, the two remaining Swedish men visit Elliott, kill him, and leave the message "Öga för öga" (an eye for an eye) written with his blood. Five agrees to the Handler's deal.|
|17||7||"Öga for Öga"||Ellen Kuras||Nikki Schiefelbein||July 31, 2020|
|Having killed the Commission's board, Five is given 90 minutes to regroup with the rest of the Academy to go back to a normal timeline in 2019. Vanya decides to take Sissy and Harlan with her to the new timeline and Allison decides to take Ray. As Ray and Allison prepare to leave they are attacked by the two remaining Swedish brothers. Allison uses her powers to make Axel kill Otto, after which he leaves. Sissy, Harlan, and Vanya are stopped by multiple police officers - Sissy admits that she left a note for Carl before leaving. Vanya uses her powers to fight them but is knocked out. Because the Academy did not regroup in time, Five is forced to throw away the time-traveling briefcase that contained the new timeline.|
|18||8||"The Seven Stages"||Amanda Marsalis||Mark Goffman & Jesse McKeown||July 31, 2020|
|Because she can speak Russian, Vanya is suspected of being a KGB spy and is interrogated by FBI Special Agent Willy Gibbs. Vanya is drugged and tortured with electrical shocks and begins to remember her past. Following up on Diego's information, Grace finds evidence that Reginald plans to harm JFK and breaks up with him. Lila kidnaps Diego to force him to work at the Commission and remain her boyfriend. Five meets with an older version of himself to try to get old-Five’s time-traveling briefcase to return to a new timeline. Old-Five tells Luther his plan to prevent Vanya from causing the original apocalypse, a plan which would result in the death of young-Five. Herb, a Commission analyst, helps Diego to see what will occur on November 22, 1963. Vanya destroys an FBI building and JFK is not assassinated, which leads to World War III when the Soviets are believed to be the cause. With the help of Herb, Diego escapes and he, Klaus, and Allison return to Dallas to prevent Vanya from blowing up the building. However, the combination of the torture and return of her memories causes Vanya's power to start building toward the explosion.|
|19||9||"743"||Amanda Marsalis||Bronwyn Garrity & Robert Askins||July 31, 2020|
|With the others unable to reach Vanya, Ben enters her mind where the traumatized Vanya has retreated into herself. Ben's understanding of her situation and her siblings' attempt to save her calms Vanya and averts the explosion and the apocalypse. The effort proves to be too much for Ben's ghostly form, and he departs for the afterlife. Somehow connected to Vanya, Harlan experiences her distress. Sissy holds Carl at gunpoint — they struggle over the gun and it goes off. Harlan deflects the bullet that is headed towards him and it kills Carl. Following up on a clue from AJ, Herb uncovers kill order 743, which involved old-Five killing Lila's parents. He presents to Lila, who confronts her mother about it. This causes Lila to become mad at Diego, unaware that the Handler was the one to approve the hit. Young-Five learns of old-Five’s plan to kill him, and with Luther's help, he sends old-Five to the original timeline but accidentally destroys the briefcase in the process. Because the FBI building wasn't destroyed, JFK continues his parade and is assassinated despite Diego's attempts to stop it. Furious at the assassination, Reginald visits Majestic 12, reveals himself to be an interdimensional being, and kills them. At the Commission, the Handler tells her employees to prepare for war.|
|20||10||"The End of Something"||Jeremy Webb||Steve Blackman||July 31, 2020|
|The Academy learns that they are wanted as terrorists for supposedly aiding in Kennedy's assassination. Sensing that Harlan is in trouble, Vanya and the others go to Sissy's farm. The Handler arrives with an army of Commission agents, and Vanya kills them all. Lila reveals she can mirror the powers of the Academy, and they realize she is another of the forty-three children who were born on the same day; the Handler had Five murder her parents to get Lila for herself. The siblings reveal the truth to Lila before the Handler kills everyone and is in turn shot by Axel, the last Swede. Mortally wounded, Five reverses time by a few minutes and stops the Handler. Axel kills the Handler anyway, but agrees to end his hunt for the Academy while Lila escapes. Vanya takes her powers back from Harlan, but later she and Sissy mutually end their relationship due to Vanya's dangerous life. Herb, now leading the Commission, allows the Academy to use a briefcase to return to 2019. Ray receives a goodbye letter from Allison, Axel seeks a fresh start with Klaus's cult, Dave goes off to war, and Sissy begins a new life with Harlan, who retains telekinetic abilities. In an altered 2019, the Academy discovers that a still-alive Reginald formed the "Sparrow Academy" instead of the Umbrella Academy, consisting of five different children, a floating green cube, and a still-alive Ben.|
|Title ||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original release date|
|21||1||"Meet the Family"||TBA||Steve Blackman and Michelle Lovretta||TBA|
The remaining episodes are titled "The World's Biggest Ball of Twine", "Pocket Full of Lightning", "Kugelblitz", "Kindest Cut", "Marigold", "Auf Wiedersehen", "Wedding at the End of the World", "Six Bells", and "Oblivion".
A film version of the comic book series The Umbrella Academy was optioned by Universal Studios. Originally, screenwriter Mark Bomback was hired to write the screenplay; Rawson Marshall Thurber reportedly replaced him in 2010. There had been little talk of the film from that time. In an interview with Newsarama at the 2012 New York Comic Con, Way mentioned that there have been "good talks" and a "really good script", but that it was "kind of up to the universe".
On July 7, 2015, it was announced that The Umbrella Academy would be developed into a television series, rather than an original film, produced by Universal Cable Productions. On July 11, 2017, it was officially announced that Netflix had greenlit a live-action series adaptation of The Umbrella Academy premiering in 2019, with Way and Bá acting as executive producers. Jeremy Slater wrote the script for the pilot episode, and Steve Blackman serves as showrunner. The first season of The Umbrella Academy was released on Netflix on February 15, 2019.
On April 2, 2019, the series was renewed for a second season, which was released on July 31, 2020. The season release date remained unknown until May 18, 2020, when a teaser trailer concept was released where the main cast danced to "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany. Steve Blackman confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that he wants to stay in the course of what the comics are doing without deviating too much. On November 10, 2020, Netflix renewed the series for a third season.
On November 9, 2017, Netflix confirmed that Elliot Page[a] had joined the cast and that he would play Vanya Hargreeves, also known as the White Violin. On November 30, 2017, it was revealed that Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan and Aidan Gallagher had joined the cast as the rest of the Hargreeves siblings. On February 12, 2018, Netflix announced that Academy Award nominee Mary J. Blige would appear in the series as the sadistic time-travel assassin Cha-Cha. Colm Feore joined the cast as Sir Reginald Hargreeves, the adoptive father of the siblings, on February 16, 2018, alongside Cameron Britton, Adam Godley and Ashley Madekwe. On February 28, 2018, it was announced that John Magaro has been cast as a series regular character.
In January 2020, Justin H. Min and Kate Walsh were promoted to series regulars for the second season, following their recurring roles in the first season. On September 10, 2019, Netflix announced that three additional actors — Ritu Arya, Marin Ireland and Yusuf Gatewood — would join the cast. On October 17, 2019, John Kapelos announced that he would be joining the recurring cast as Jack Ruby, the man who killed Lee Harvey Oswald. On January 11, 2021, it was announced that Justin Cornwell, Britne Oldford, Genesis Rodriguez, Cazzie David, and Jake Epstein joined the cast as part of the Sparrow Academy for the third season.
Principal photography for the first season began on January 15, 2018, in Toronto. Gerard Way posted on his Instagram account an illustration by Fabio Moon of the cast and crew doing the first table read of the script in Toronto. He also revealed a picture of the first day on the set. Additional filming took place in Hamilton, Ontario.
For the theatre where Vanya performed with her violin, the crew used the Elgin Theatre, alongside the Winter Garden Theatre. Mazzoleni Concert Hall was used to represent the theatre's exterior. The exterior of the mansion was filmed at a building in Hamilton, while the interiors were filmed in studio. The Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre was filmed for an outside scene and LIUNA Station was used for a bank robbery scene. A laboratory at the University of Toronto was filmed to represent the Meritech Prosthetics building. The filming concluded on July 18, 2018.
Filming for the second season began on June 16, 2019. And like the previous season, it was filmed in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, despite the series taking place in Dallas, Texas. Exterior shots were taken in Dallas such as the Dealey Plaza. Filming concluded on November 23, 2019.
Visual effects for the series are handled by SpinVFX and Weta Digital, which worked only on Pogo. VFX supervisor Everet Burrell confirmed that he used traditional art techniques for early concept art and referenced great actors with iconic faces. Burrell called Weta Digital, who previously worked for the rebooted Planet of the Apes series, to develop the visual effects for the character of Pogo. Ken Hall provided the motion capture for Pogo using a gray suit to later make additions to his captures to create the CGI of the chimpanzee, with Adam Godley making the facial expressions and voice acting of the character.
SpinVFX confirmed that they delivered at least 563 shots for the series. To make the effects of the show, the team required a series of complex effect simulations, creature development, and massive destructions.
For the effects of Number Five jumping through time and space, Burrell wanted to make the effects look organic, and liquidy, representing how much time and the world bends around him when he jumps, and how quick it should be. For these effects, he used more than 30 frames in the first episodes, however with the progress of the series, this reduced to only 10 frames. To that footage, the team iterated on several kinds of spatial jump effects, all the way from heavy distortion to subtler images. The visual effects team started with some R&D tests. At the end, the final effect, called the "jelly vision", was used to make the series, with Burrell expressing: "as if you're pushing your hand through a jelly membrane, just for a few seconds, and then it pops. It's really, really subtle, but you get a little bit of texture, you get a little bit of striations, almost like the universe is bending as he does his spatial jumps."
In an interview with Burrell he confirmed that to develop the sequences where time is frozen, they took several background shots on location before returning to their stage to shoot the dialogue between Five and The Handler in front of a green screen. They called this effect "Three-Strip" in honor of the Technicolor process used in the 1930s.
The second season used 400 shots from the Montreal team under the guidance of VFX supervisor Laurent Spillemaecker to create time portal effects seen throughout the season, particularly Five’s special ability. Meanwhile, Spillemaecker’s crew recreated events surrounding JFK’s fateful Dallas visit, while including The Umbrella Academy’s superpower interactions. Pictures and references from the 60s were provided to create and later to be used as digital matte paintings and CG environments, to transform Canda into the show's setting, 1960s Dallas.
The opening scene where the siblings fight the Soviets in Dallas street on the opening scene was the most complicated to do, being nearly completely CGI. It was released on a 360 degree bluescreen backlot set which was 15 feet tall and 200 feet by 60 feet. The only real things that weren't made of CGI, were the tank, soldiers, cast and the rubble on the ground. The set was LiDAR scanned so that the director, Sylvian White could walk around using a VR edition of the iPad. They used a Phantom running at 700 frames per second on a camera stick. The scene was also divided in seven parts, beginning with Number Five's arrival at 1963, and concluding before Diego's first lines. For safety reasons the crew couldn't fire the AK-47s at Diego so they were forced to do multiple passes.
On April 16, 2019, Netflix announced that the series had been streamed by over 45 million viewers on its service within its first month of release, with people at least having watched 70% percent of one episode of the series. It was the third most popular TV series on Netflix in 2019. On September 3, 2020 Netflix revealed the show broke numerous records in viewerships, following the second season debut. During the second season first week, the show was the most watched television series show on Netflix, being atop of the Nielsen ratings and thus confirming that 3 billion minutes of the show's two seasons were viewed. On October 21, 2020 Netflix published the Nielsen ratings and revealed that the show's second season was streamed by over 43 million viewers in its first 28 days. It made it the 6th most watched show of that year, falling behind shows like The Queen's Gambit and Ratched.
On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 75% of 88 critic reviews are positive for the first season, with an average rating of 7.2/10. Critics' consensus on the website reads, "The Umbrella Academy unfurls an imaginative yarn with furtive emotion and an exceptionally compelling ensemble, but the series' dour sensibility often clashes with its splashy genre trappings." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the season a score of 61 out of 100 based on 22 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Merrill Barr from Forbes praised the series, and wrote, "If you're looking for a pulpy show with lots of action, melodramatic plotting and eccentric characters then The Umbrella Academy is your ticket." Lorraine Ali from Los Angeles Times in a positive review wrote, "The Umbrella Academy stands out among the countless other superhero series splashed across billboards and your viewing queues." Catherine Gee from the Daily Telegraph gave the series a positive response and commented, "If it does return for a second run, it would be nice to see some more genuinely fresh ideas - without the over-reliance on tried, tested and tired tropes from years past." Adam Graham from The Detroit News commented the series is a worthy enrollment, praising the series for its themes about a dysfunctional family and the characters. Kambole Campbell from Little White Lies considered the series as something to enjoy with a plenty of surprises for someone who has not read the comics, and praised the way that the series interpreted the abusive parental childhood relationship and how at the end this affects the children in their adulthood.
In a more negative way, Kelly Lawler from USA Today commented, "The series reeks of undeveloped potential. It looks beautiful and has an incredible cast, yet often drags. After a solid first episode, the plot is excruciatingly slow, pausing in all the wrong places." Alan Sepinwall from the Rolling Stone wrote, "Umbrella Academy suggests a musical trapped in the body of one of Netflix's more tedious Marvel Comics vigilante dramas... It's a particularly egregious "four episodes worth of plot in a 10-episode bag" offender."
Some Jewish writers have criticized The Umbrella Academy for its portrayal of the Handler. In particular, her use of a Yiddish idiom and her membership in a secret society that discreetly causes catastrophic events were together perceived as an antisemitic stereotype of Jewish people secretly and malevolently controlling world events. Amanda Bowman, Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, wrote that "The use of a Yiddish saying by the evil boss of an organisation which controls the world’s timeline is clearly an anti-Semitic trope." The Handler was again shown speaking Yiddish in the second season, leading some to complain that the show hadn't done enough to address Jewish viewers' concerns. 
For the second season, Rotten Tomatoes identified 90% of 83 reviews as positive, with an average rating of 7.84/10. The website's critical consensus states, "Proof that time can heal almost all wounds, The Umbrella Academy's exhilarating second season lightens its tonal load without losing its emotional core, giving the super siblings room to grow while doubling down on the time traveling fun." The season garnered a weighted average score of 67 out of 100 from 12 critics on Metacritic, signifying "generally favorable reviews".
Scott Bryan from BBC commented, "The less you think about the plot, the more you enjoy the ride, and the funnier and more interesting it is too." Caroline Siede from The A.V. Club in a positive review wrote, "This season two premiere delivers a stronger, better version of The Umbrella Academy – one that finally starts to pay off the promise of the series." Laura Prudom of IGN praised the series for its action sequences, soundtrack, and the themes about family, and considered it an improvement on the previous season. Tom Long from The Detroit News gave a positive response for its representation of LGBT and race issues. Richard Lawson from The Vanity Fair praised the visual effects, and considered the season to be sleeker and more vivid than the first season. Sabrina Barr from The Independent commented: "Employing dry Wes Anderson-style humour and end-of-the-world exploits worthy of Heroes, the second season of The Umbrella Academy is just as – if not more – wacky than the first." Lacy Baugher of Paste praised the series for not being like any other superhero movie or series, giving a positive response about its family themes, and the siblings' struggles and addictions.
Kathryn VanArendonk from Vulture criticized the series for being nonsensical and illogical, and considered the humor and style the only thing that helped distract from "the yawning chasm of nonsense". Stuart Jeffries from The Guardian was critical of the series for its lack of ideas and unoriginality, and compared it with Back to the Future and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Steve Greene from IndieWire gave a negative response to the new season, and considered that the story and the apocalypse plot was derivative from the previous season, and that it also lacked heart or emotion.
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress||Elliot Page[a]||Nominated|||
|Saturn Awards||Best Streaming Superhero Television Series||The Umbrella Academy||Nominated|||
|Best Supporting Actress in a Streaming Presentation||Elliot Page[a]||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour or More)||Mark Worthington, Mark Steel & Jim Lambie (for "We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals")||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Special Visual Effects||Everett Burrell, Chris White, Jeff Campbell, Sebastien Bergeron, Sean Schur, Steve Dellerson, Libby Hazell, Carrie Richardson & Misato Shinohara (for "The White Violin")||Nominated|
|People's Choice Awards||The Bingeworthy Show of 2019||The Umbrella Academy||Nominated|||
|The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2019||Nominated|
|MTV Movie & TV Awards||Best Musical Moment||Nominated|||
|Visual Effects Society Awards||Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode or Real-Time Project||Aidan Martin, Craig Young, Olivier Beierlein & Laurent Herveic (for "Pilot; Pogo")||Nominated|||
|Casting Society of America||Television Pilot & First Season – Drama||Junie Lowry Johnson, Libby Goldstein, April Webster, Robin D. Cook, Samantha Garrabrant, Josh Ropiequet & Jonathan Oliveira||Nominated|||
|Art Directors Guild Awards||One-Hour Contemporary Single-Camera Series||Mark Worthington (for "We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals")||Won|||
|People's Choice Awards||The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2020||The Umbrella Academy||Nominated|||
|Critics' Choice Super Awards||Best Superhero Series||Nominated|||
|Hollywood Music in Media Awards||Best Music Supervision – Television||Jen Malone||Nominated|||
|GLAAD Media Awards||Outstanding Drama Series||The Umbrella Academy||Nominated|||
|Annie Awards||Best Character Animation - Live Action||Aidan Martin, Hunter Parks, Craig Young, Viki Yeo & Krystal Sae Eua||Nominated|||
|Motion Picture Sound Editors Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Episodic Short Form – Dialogue/ADR||John Benson & Jason Krane (for "The End of Something")||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Episodic Short Form – Music||Jen Malone & Lodge Worster (for "Valhalla")||Nominated|
|MTV Movie & TV Awards||Best Performance in a Show||Elliot Page||Nominated|||
|Saturn Awards||Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series||The Umbrella Academy||Pending|||
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