Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The Umbrella Academy Optioned by Universal

So this is my first post! I wasn't sure what to focus on since I want to write about film, music and books here but then it came to me, I have the perfect item that combines all three elements, featuring a member of my favourite band (and my hero), his comic book and a future film.

The Umbrella Academy is a comic book written by Gerard Way, the lead singer of My Chemical Romance, and illustrated by Gabriel Ba, of Casanova fame. It tells the story of a dysfunctional family of superheroes and how they're brought together after years apart to save the world. Way has always been in comic books, interning at DC before starting MCR in 2001, and The Umbrella Academy has been received extremely well by the often snobby comic community, winning a prestidious Eisner earlier this year.

Hollywood can't resist a comic book movie at the moment. We've seen The Hulk, Iron Man and Batman (or the Dark Knight) all make it to our screens over the past year and with Captain America, Thor and The Avengers coming soon a darkly humorous, award winning comic book, written by a man that has an inbuilt fanbase of thousands of die-hard followers must have seemed very appealling. So it didn't take long for the news to break that Universal Studios had optioned the material and Gerard Way was in serious talks with the Studio concerning possible directors, writers and costume designers.

For someone like me this is so exciting. Unless you've read Apocalypse Suite, the first series of The Umbrella Academy, it's hard to explain what an amazingly beautiful, dark, funny, visual film it could become. Best of all Alfonso Cuaron is a possible director, Diablo Cody's name has been mentioned as writer and Gerard is keen to bring Colleen Atwood on board for costume design. Alfonso Cuaron is one of my favourite directors, he's a real visionary and directed one of my favourite but often over looked films, the 1998 version of Great Expectations. Diablo Cody is the genius behind Juno, she writes wickedly cutting, quick dialogue with a dark edge that would work so well for this project, I would love to hear my favourite character, Rumor, speaking something she'd written. Colleen Atwood works a lot with Tim Burton and has a really gothic eye for design. She designed the costumes for MCR's 'Welcome To The Black Parade' video as well as their 'Black Parade' tour and understandably Way is keen to work with her again.

This is something I'm sure I'll be coming back to but in the meantime check out The Umbrella Academy - Apocalypse Suite NOW! Dallas, the second series, is released on 26th November. Here's a couple of images to wet your appetite.

1 comment:

  1. Further proof that the current chatter about Universal's parent company General Electric stepping in to ensure ongoing profitability (read: stymie creativity) is rubbish. Still optioning interesting projects as well as the mainstream biggies.

    For an alternative comic book, comic fanboy/girls, you could also check out “Batman: Cacophony,” a 3-issue miniseries from my fave Kevin Smith - featuring the return of a villain he created during his “Green Arrow” run: Onomatopoeia.

    Better yet, and something Sarah will appreciate, is that the artwork's all Walter Flannigan ;)