The Umbrella Academy Movie We'll Never Get To See

"The Umbrella Academy" is one of the more intriguing comic book adapatations currently running. Based on the Dark Horse Comics series by writer Gerard Way and artist Gabriel Báthe show follows the exploits of the Hargreeves family, a group of seven super-powered siblings who gather together after their father's death to prevent the end of the world. This concept has lasted throughout two seasons so far, gaining critical acclaim and approval from fans of the comic. Speaking as one of those fans, I've enjoyed how the series delves into the dysfunctional relationship between the Hargreeves and their outright toxic relationship with their father, and the filmmakers manage to perfectly translate the comics to another medium.

The road to "The Umbrella Academy" was a long and rocky one, according to Gerard Way. During an interview with Rolling Stone in 2019, Way revealed that the Umbrella Academy comic was born out of fiction between himself and the members of his band My Chemical Romance. And as it turns out, the series could have hit the silver screen before it landed in Netflix queues.

Of Super Heroes and Show Buisness

"The Umbrella Academy" was originally slated to have a film adaptation at Universal Pictures. Way revealed that meetings about the direction of the film took their toll on him-and he decided that he would have a bigger hand in any project based on his work:

"I had been more involved in that than I probably should have been. I was involved in a lot of early conversations. As it continued I remember just going in there and having meetings about it. It wasn't going anywhere. I don't think whoever was the head at the time believed in it. It was emotionally draining. So after that, I made a decision when I made more comics I'd make sure the comics were my main focus and that anything else that happens around it I need to be able to relinquish that control and let it exist in a different medium."

Eventually, things fell through at Universal — which is honestly a shame. Though I love "The Umbrella Academy," the comic could have definitely worked in film form. The first volume, "The Apocalypse Suite," would have been a great form of counter-programming to Marvel and DC's film offerings with its family drama and offbeat villain. But in a twist worth of the Hargreeves' adventures, "The Umbrella Academy" would find life in another form of media.

Netflix To The Rescue

Dark Horse contacted Way after the film option expired with a television offer for "The Umbrella Academy." And Way thought that was perfect:

"The option ran out and then Dark Horse contacted me and said, 'Well, you know, TV is really starting to get pretty crazy. What do you think about Umbrella as a TV show?' I said, 'I think that's great, because I would love to spend more time with these characters.'"

After a meeting with Universal Cable Productions' president Dawn Olmstead, the rest is history. In addition to the critical acclaim and viewership, "The Umbrella Academy" was even nominated for a GLAAD award last year thanks to Elliot Page's performance as Vanya Hargreeves (a well-deserved award, if you ask me.) With a third season on the way, it's safe to say that everything worked out for "The Umbrella Academy" in the end. But I can't help but wonder what it would look like in movie form, and if it would've shifted the superhero landscape in a different direction.