The increasing availability of television platforms means there is an expanding availability of superhero storytelling. These platforms and projects have attracted some pretty stellar talent over the years, and it now looks like one of Netflix's upcoming comic book-based properties has actually drawn a veteran from the genre. Specifically, it now seems like Netflix's The Umbrella Academy has locked down X-Men veteran Ellen Page.
According to a report from Deadline, Ellen Page has signed on for one of the lead roles in Netflix's upcoming adaptation of The Umbrella Academy. Based upon the graphic novel series by My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way, The Umbrella Academy centers its story on a dysfunctional family of superheroes (called The Umbrella Academy) that reunites to figure out the mysterious circumstances of their father's recent death. As they dive into the mystery, their conflicting personalities threaten to tear them apart. Think X-Men (after all, Page made her superhero movie debut in X-Men: The Last Stand) meets the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Oddly enough, despite her pedigree in the world of superhero fiction, Ellen Page will actually be portraying one of the only central characters with no superpowers. Specifically, she will portray a heroine named Vanya, an adopted daughter who has difficulty figuring out exactly where she fits into this family of superpowered beings. It is definitely a far cry from playing Kitty Pryde (who arguably had one of the most useful skillsets in the entire X-Men franchise with her ability to phase through space and time) but taking on the role of Vanya could allow her to try something entirely new.
The possibility of an adaptation of The Umbrella Academy has been thrown around for quite some time. At one point the possibility of a film version of the story was toyed with at Universal, but the success of superhero television seems to have presented the folks at Netflix and Universal Cable Productions with the genuine possibility that this could become a hit in a small screen format.
Although we still don't know much about The Umbrella Academy, it is beginning to look like the project could provide an excellent alternative to fans who might not be quite as interested in traditional superhero fare. Netflix has seen great success by presenting audiences with its grounded and gritty take on the Marvel Cinematic Universe in The Defenders series, so adapting another somewhat off-kilter, Dark Horse superhero property could potentially do the same for the streaming service -- albeit with a very different type of property.
The Umbrella Academy is currently aiming for a 2018 release on Netflix, and we will bring you more information related to the project as new details are made available. Until that happens, make sure to take a look at our fall TV premiere guide, and listen to The Cord Cutter Podcast to hear everything we have to say about the ever-evolving world of streaming content.