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WATCH: The Umbrella Academy cast on creating chimps and honoring comics
What do you get when you have six superpowered kids born under mysterious circumstances, a seventh whose violin skills might as well be a superpower, a talking chimp and a world on the edge of destruction?
The Umbrella Academy is the brainchild of Gerard Way (who was every scene kid's idol back in the early '00s) and artist Gabriel Bá. The bizarre but strangely relatable characters they brought to life in the Dark Horse comic have now been adapted into a Netflix Series you have to see to believe. Way, Bá, and three of the unlikely family otherwise known as The Umbrella Academy sat down with SYFY WIRE to talk comics, chimps and unfiltered weirdness.
Way was thrilled with how Steve Blackman developed the show, particularly the relationships between the characters as well as their own individual personalities that can be surprisingly human.
"I think the most important thing was that they kept the family dynamic and they kept the fact that these characters were flawed and fractured," Way said. "I've always been able to separate the comic from TV or film or anything else… so I was really welcoming to Steve's vision."
You might be surprised to find out that Emmy Raver-Lampman (Allison), Tom Hopper (Luther) and David Castañeda (Diego), all of whom play characters with major issues, were given virtually nothing extra to build on their performances unless you count the comics. They wouldn't even get the script for the next episode until they were halfway through filming the previous one. Major issues right there.
If you've read the comic and seen Pogo the talking chimp, who does so much more than talk, in action, you're probably wondering how he was translated onscreen. Blackman somehow talked Weta into creating the character. Bá rcalled how the producers were initially looking for an actor supplemented by CGI, but that just wasn't chimp enough.
Season 1 of The Umbrella Academy just landed on Netflix, so grab your popcorn.
This article was contributed to by Elizabeth Rayne.