Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

TELLING THE HUMAN STORY OF A SUPERHERO FAMILY... the Umbrella Academy May Tread Superhero Territory - but First and Foremost It's Based on Relatable Human Characters, as Showrunner Steve Blackman Tells GEMMA DUNN

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

TELLING THE HUMAN STORY OF A SUPERHERO FAMILY... the Umbrella Academy May Tread Superhero Territory - but First and Foremost It's Based on Relatable Human Characters, as Showrunner Steve Blackman Tells GEMMA DUNN

Article excerpt

Byline: GEMMA DUNN

THE year is 1989. At the 12th hour of the first day of October, 43 women around the world suddenly find themselves nine-months pregnant and immediately give birth.

Piquing the interest of an eccentric billionaire, seven of the babies are adopted.

Each harbouring extraordinary abilities, the children form a superhero gang, destined to fight evil.

This inexplicable phenomenon sets the scene for Netflix's latest original series, the highly anticipated Umbrella Academy.

ON SCREEN Power-charged with action, the family drama - based on the Eisner Awardwinning graphic novel series created and written by Gerard Way - the former frontman of My Chemical Romance -and illustrated by Gabriel Ba - includes 10 episodes, each adapted by Fargo producer Steve Blackman.

The project first came to the Canadian-American around the time he was finishing up with sci-fi hit, Altered Carbon.

"I really wanted to stay with Netflix," reasons Steve, who went on to serve as a showrunner on the epic new show.

"They talked to me about a couple of THE projects and this was one of them.

"I got really excited about it. I want to tell relatable, human stories, and with The Umbrella Academy, I wanted to do that away from any trope of superheroes.

"To me, these are very grounded characters, they're a family," he adds.

"The fact that they have some abilities is, to me, secondary. It's a dysfunctional family show with a body count."

THE EARLY DAYS ONCE adopted, the children soon realise that they pose more of a scientific interest to entrepreneur Hargreeves (played by House Of Cards' Colm Feore).

Assigned numbers - and later names by Grace, the robot they call mom - the super-dysfunctional superheroes become known as Number 1/Luther; Number 2/Diego; Number 3/Allison; Number 4/Klaus; Number 6/Ben; Number 7/ Vanya. …

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