Following her Academy Award-nominated turn on Netflix’s period drama Mudbound, Mary J. Blige will remain with the streaming service for The Umbrella Academy.
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According to The Hollywood Reporter, the singer/actress will play the time-traveling assassin in the adaptation of the acclaimed comic book series by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba. Blige joins a cast that includes Tom Hopper, Emmy Raver-Lampman, David Castaneda, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher and Ellen Page.
The live-action series follows the estranged members of a dysfunctional family of superheroes (The Umbrella Academy) — Spaceboy, The Kraken, The Rumor, The Séance, Number Five, The Horror and The White Violin — as they work together to solve their father’s mysterious death while coming apart at the seams due to their divergent personalities and abilities. Netflix ordered the 10-episode first season straight to series in July; filming began just last month.
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The comic debuted in 2007 from Dark Horse Comics with The Umbrella Academy: The Apocalypse Suite, which was followed the next year by the miniseries The Umbrella Academy: Dallas.
Blige’s character, Cha-Cha, was introduced is male in the comic. Introduced in Dallas, he and his partner Hazel are sadistic neo-Nazi assassins employed by the Temps Aeternails, the time police. They’re sent back in time to kill Number Five, aka The Boy, although they’re not particularly discriminating about their targets. The role of Hazel has yet to be cast.
Executive produced by Steve Blackman (Altered Carbon), who also serves as showrunner, The Umbrella Academy debuts later this year from Netflix.