Eight years after the release of its debut issue, Gerard Way’s The Umbrella Academy may be hitting the small screen. The comic book series, created by the My Chemical Romance frontman and Gabriel Ba, is one of four projects in a development deal with Universal Cable Productions, which announced a first-look deal with Dark Horse Entertainment. Universal Cable Productions set their sights on Dark Horse Entertainment, known for Hellboy and The Mask, during last year’s Comic-Con, after meeting some of the company’s top writers and artists in San Diego. Under the deal, the companies will produce and develop several scripted shows based on both new and existing material including The Umbrella Academy. Dark Horse’s founder, Mike Richardson, released a statement Tuesday in which he expressed his excitement in working with Universal Cable Productions. Richardson also admitted that he felt that the creative team behind Universal Cable Productions “has embraced the spirit of the Dark Horse brand.”
Universal Cable Productions’ exec VP of development, Dawn Olmstead, said of Dark Horse Entertainment “Their brand has conquered multiple media platforms and boasts iconic books that have attracted the highest level of writers. It’s going to be a wild and imaginative ride.” Jeff Wachtel, chief at Universal Cable Productions, stated that while having a big title helps it was not the only reason he decided to work with Dark Horse Entertainment. “I’d rather be in business with a brilliant person than with a great idea…the real key is finding the people who make the stuff up. One of the great things about Dark Horse is that it’s such a fertile factory of imagination.” Aside from The Umbrella Academy, the production deal also includes Harrow County, based on a book by Cullen Bunn; Paul Chadwick’s Concrete; and Back Up, which is based on a script by Tom Vaughn. The Umbrella Academy, which had previously been optioned by Universal Studios with Rawson Marshall Thurber reworking the script, is based on a “dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers, [who] must figure out how to work together to save the world.”
Way is no stranger to television, in 2001 he interned for Cartoon Network and even pitched a cartoon called The Breakfast Monkey, though the network declined to pick it up. It wasn’t long after that when the September 11, 2001 attacks happened, changing Way’s outlook on life and forcing him to start a career in music with his brother Mikey Way.