Dream Casting: The Umbrella Academy

Contributed by
Jul 20, 2017

Dream Casting is an imaginative look at the casting process of potential Hollywood projects based on comics and other media. This isn't just about what is being made; this is about what should be made, and who we think should be the stars.

We recently found out that The Umbrella Academy is coming to Netflix in 2018. For the unfamiliar, the comic is by writer Gerard Way (yes, the guy from My Chemical Romance) and artist Gabriel Bá. It's a simultaneously absurd and melancholy story about a very dysfunctional family who were raised to be superheroes by a cold and aloof adoptive father who insisted they call him by his codename, the Monacle, instead of calling him "Dad."

When the Monacle dies, the group reunites for his funeral, and more trouble ensues. There's time travel, robots, talking apes and an orchestra that's dedicated to bringing about the apocalypse. And that's without even getting into the second volume, where they have to go back in time to make sure Kennedy gets shot. The show is bound to be a lot of fun, and I've done my best to find a cast that could carry it.

Aubrey Plaza as the Rumor

Look, I'd put Aubrey Plaza in everything if I could. But the Rumor in particular has an "I'm so over this crap" quality that makes her a perfect Aubrey Plaza character. Plaza also has an incredibly expressive face, which will help in the part of the story when the Rumor loses the ability to speak. Plus, after the amazing work she's done on Legion, it's about time for Plaza to get top billing on a show, and this could be that chance.

Emile Hirsch as Spaceboy

It feel's like Hirsch's career never rebounded from the failure of Speed Racer, which is ironic since that movie is now something of a cult classic. Spaceboy will be another chance for him to play a nuanced take on a sort of classic mid-century hero type ... but this time he lives on the moon and has a giant gorilla body.

Boyd Holbrook as the Kraken

Having proved how intimidating he can be by facing off against Wolverine in Logan, Holbrook is perfectly positioned to play the Umbrella Academy equivalent of Wolverine, the Kraken.

Noah Schnapp as the Boy

Yes, I keep casting Stranger Things kids in these things. I can't help it if that's currently the number-one source for talented children suitable for genre projects. Anyway, Schnapp was a little bit creepy as Will Byers, so he can probably turn it up to super creepy for the sociopathic time-traveling Boy.

Harry Lloyd as the Séance

You may remember Lloyd as Viserys Targaryen in early episodes of Game of Thrones. He won't be nearly as detestable in this part, but he'll still be something of an effete jerk who can't read the room.

Emmy Rossum as the White Violin

Rossum is already a part of one messed-up family on Shameless, but so far she hasn't tried to destroy the world with a violin on that show, so this would still give her something new to do. Besides, she has an amazing face that being painted solid white would only accentuate.

David Schwimmer as Pogo

Schwimmer's voice coming from a bespectacled chimp will be funny, but he can also bring needed warmth and caring to the role. And two decades after Friends, Ross playing the monkey himself feels like coming full circle.

David Strathairn as the Monacle

The Monacle will only appear in flashbacks, but an authoritarian Strathairn with weird hair, a ridiculous mustache, and of course a monacle will make an immediate impression.

Mary Louise Parker as Mom

Mom is some kind of robot, and so far that's about all we know. Parker (Weeds) can certainly bring something unique to the part, wherever the show takes it.

Ajay Mehta as Abhijat

Abhijat also hasn't really been developed in the comic yet, but Mehta (Trainwreck, The Mindy Project) is a great character actor so the show will surely find good things for him to do.

Danny Trejo as Inspector Lupo

Trejo, aka Machete, is the most grizzled old man in town, he grows a great mustache and he'll look fantastic in a beret. Simple.

Alan Cumming as the Conductor

Cumming's done everything, from Cabaret to X2 to The Good Wife. He's a genuinely great actor, but he's also great at being theatrical and over-the-top, which will make him a perfect Conductor.