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‘The Umbrella Academy’: Netflix’s Graphic Novel Adaptation Announces Release Date, Unveils First Look

The adaptation of Gerard Way's graphic novel stars Mary J. Blige and "Mindhunter" breakout Cameron Britton (and apparently, a choreographed dance montage).

The Umbrella Academy

The Umbrella Academy

Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

As part of the Netflix and Chills panel at New York Comic Con Friday night, the team behind upcoming Netflix series “The Umbrella Academy” — including Ellen Page, Mary J. Blige, Tom Hopper, Robert Sheehan, Emmy Raver-Lampman, David Castañeda, Aidan Gallagher, and Cameron Britton — shared some key information from the upcoming adaptation of Gerard Way’s graphic novels, including its release date.

“The Umbrella Academy” follows an interconnected group of people all born on the same day, from mothers who were not pregnant. Bonded by this strange origin story, six of them regroup to mourn and avenge the loss of their Professor Xavier-like

Britton talked about how the series relates to the source material. He explained that the show builds on the characters in the same way the second comic built on the first.

“This is taking that to another level,” Britton said. “It’s still the same feel and the characters have the same vibe. But because it’s ten hours of footage, they’ve really gotten more complex and very grounded.”

That said, as panel moderator Josh Horowitz teased, fans can expect an introductory dance sequence and plenty more surprises for even the most devoted readers. “You have to take liberties. You have to splash a bit of your own originality into the soup, so as to be having fun with it. Otherwise, you’re just recreating something into a different form. And fuck that,” Sheehan said to a laugh from the crowd.

It’s a new twist on the acting career for recent Oscar nominee Mary J. Blige, who received a supporting actress nomination for her work in last year’s “Mudbound.”

“I’ve never played anything close to this,” Blige said. “I’ve always wanted to be the superhero or the super villain or an assassin. I wanted to learn how to shoot a gun and how to do martial arts. It was perfect. I picked up some skills.”

A trailer for the series shown solely to the assembled Mainstage crowd teased introductions for all of the six “children” in the Umbrella Academy, complete with sharp uniforms and acrobatic action sequences. The panel also featured the reveal of when fans can expect to see the series: “The Umbrella Academy” premieres February 15 on Netflix.

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