Season 3 of 'The Umbrella Academy' Is Well Into Production

·15 min read

Spoiler warning: the following article contains details from throughout the second season of Netflix's The Umbrella Academy.

  • Netflix has officially renewed The Umbrella Academy for a third season.

  • Season 3 will begin production in February 2021, and the show has just announced an assortment of new cast members.

  • In the past, writer Gerard Way has given showrunner Steve Blackman a detailed document outlining the story's future—which goes far beyond Season 2.

The end of the first season of The Umbrella Academy, quite literally, went out with a bang, and the show's second season picked up from that exact moment. From there, we saw a whole lot of time travel, a lot of action, a lot of laughs, a villain who was a fish in a tank with a human body, and some really cool and stylistic scenes with even better acting to go along with it. In short? Umbrella Academy Season 2 was a damn good time. So now we ask the obvious question—when's season 3?

And that question is a good one that we now have the beginnings of an answer to. Netflix has officially renewed The Umbrella Academy for Season 3, detailing in the process that production will start up in February 2021. It's great to have the news become official, but given the show's massive fanbase, and increased critical success (the show's second season has a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, up from the first season's 75%), it was very, very difficult to imagine the show not returning for another season.

As the show's Season 2 cliffhanger left things, our heroes are in some sort of alternate dimension, where The Umbrella Academy is instead replaced by something called The Sparrow Academy. We were already guessing that was where Season 3 would directly pick-up, and with Netflix announcing the casting of the Umbrella Academy's Sparrow Academy counterparts, that feels like a safe guess.

There have also been some tea leaves telling us that Netflix and everyone behind the show have big plans in mind. Back in 2019, Gerard Way—who not only is the frontman of My Chemical Romance, but also the primary writer of The Umbrella Academy comics—told Collider that he gave showrunner Steve Blackman an 18-page document outlining his entire plan for The Umbrella Academy comics, which he plans to eventually total 8 volumes (three have been released so far, the most recent having come out last fall).

Additionally, actor David Castañeda, who plays Diego, told Men's Health that he knew Blackman is already working on a third season, but was keeping his ideas mostly private. "There’s been some notes, some ideas thrown back and forth if we get the opportunity to go forward," he said. "But Steve kind of keeps all that stuff really close to his chest until we get a hard confirmation."

Here's what more we know about the forthcoming third Umbrella Academy season.

Production is well underway.

Back in April, Tom Hopper (who plays Luther) told Collider about how some of the mid-Covid-19 production of The Umbrella Academy would be going.

"Well, the COVID protocols mean that we have shorter days, which means that the actual length of the shoot is going to be a lot longer," he said, before really hyping up the actual content of the forthcoming Season 3. "But yeah, we're really near the beginning. We're not that far into it at the moment, so we've got a long way to go, but it's good. The great thing is the material, the work is amazing, so every day on set is, like I say, a joy and so much fun."

He also added that the extra time leading up to entering production amounted to extra time to refine the episode scripts and make them even that much stronger. "The scripts are so great, season three, it's really such a joy to be doing it," he said. "I feel very privileged to be a part of this show. And I think the best thing really is that we're all so comfortable with each other now."

Cast members also share updates on their personal Instagram accounts. Elliot Page, who plays Vanya, shared an update when production first began on his page, which included a look at the Season 3 logo for the show—which now includes a sparrow sitting atop the Umbrella.

And it seems like, in general, good times are being had, as Page also shared a photo from set with Emmy Raver-Lampman, who plays Allison.

And in case you needed cold hard proof that progress was being made, Castañeda confirmed that the cast saw the beginning of the first episode.

Things are happening! Get excited, folks.

Elliot Page will continue to play Vanya.

Since production wrapped on Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy, Page came out as transgender, now going by the name Eliot Page and using he/him pronouns. Appearing on the cover of Time magazine, Page detailed how much he related to Vanya in the first two seasons of the show. “I related to how much Vanya was closed off,” he said.

Blackman said in the Time piece that he's seen a change in Page's demeanor since returning for work on Season 3.

“It seems like there’s a tremendous weight off his shoulders, a feeling of comfort,” he said. “There’s a lightness, a lot more smiling.”

The story also says that it hasn't been entirely smooth sailing since returning to set; some people have accidentally used the wrong pronouns. “It’s going to be an adjustment,” Page said.

Who will be in the Umbrella Academy Season 3 cast?

It's been confirmed that most of the key players from Season 1 and 2 will return for Season 3. That means Hopper as Luther, Page as Vanya, Castañeda as Diego, Raver-Lampman as Allison, Robert Sheehan as Klaus, Aidan Gallagher as Number Five, and Colm Feore as Reginald. Additionally, Adam Godley (as the voice of Pogo) and Ritu Arya (who played Season 2's breakout character, Lila) will also be returning.

It seemed at few moments in the second season like it might be the end of the line for Justin H. Min, who plays the deceased Ben. A major moment in the second season was when Ben went into the light to save an overwhemed Vanya, finally sacrificing himself out of Klaus' visions. But that changed in a big way when the timelines changed—when the rest of the gang returned to the "present," Ben was still alive—and part of something called The Sparrow Academy. And that made Min essential for a potential season 3.

And Netflix has confirmed Min's return as Ben for Season 3 as well, albeit a very different Ben—rooted in The Sparrow Academy—and he's #2 in that hierarchy. Netflix describes this Ben as a "Machiavellian tactician," and he seems destined to be a Season 3 antagonist.

Netflix also announced the rest of the Sparrow Academy members: #1 will be Marcus, the group's leader who "oozes confidence and leadership," played by Justin Cornwell from I Am The Night. #3, Fei, is a perceived misanthrope who in actuality is lonely, and will be played by Hunters' Britney Oldford. #4 will be Alphonso, a scarred fighter with a "biting sense of humor," played by Designated Survivor'sJake Epstein. #5 will be Sloane, played by Genesis Rodriguez (who voiced a character in Big Hero 6). #6 is Jayme, a loner who "doesn’t say much because she doesn’t have to," and is played by Cazzie David (yes, Larry's daughter, who recently published her debut collection of essays). And #7 is being called "Existential Dread Inducing Psykronium Cube," which, uh, we'll just leave that one be for now.

On that same note, we don't want to totally write off The Handler (Kate Walsh) from making another return—we thought she was dead at the end of Season 1, after all—but it seems like she really is outta there by the end of Season 2. Having said that, Walsh is a fantastic actress and her presence in the show always makes things stronger, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that a show that frequently deals with time-travel and uses flashbacks in nearly every episode could bring her back.

It's hard to rule out anyone making a return, for that matter, but for now we have at least a basic idea of who our key players would be.

Will there be a third season of The Umbrella Academy?


Netflix has now officially confirmed that The Umbrella Academy will be returning for Season 3, and production began in February 2021.

"Oh my god! We're back! Again! It's official," the show wrote on its official Twitter account. "Production for S3 of The Umbrella Academy begins in February."

The official Netflix Twitter account also confirmed the news.

"They're not done yet! The Umbrella Academy Season 3 is officially happening!"

David Casteñeda, who plays Diego, also reacted to the news from his own personal Twitter account.

The signs for more Umbrella Academy have long been there; Netflix particularly has invested in the talent of showrunner Steve Blackman. Back in February, the streaming giant signed him to a long and lucrative contract. As The Wrap describes:

Under the deal, Blackman and his production company, Borderline Entertainment, will write and produce series and other projects exclusively for Netflix while continuing his work as showrunner and executive producer on “The Umbrella Academy.” Blackman will be growing Borderline for Netflix and bringing on a development executive in the coming months.

Additionally, Netflix executive Brian Wright, the Vice President of YA/Family original series for Netflix, praised Blackman's work with the network (he also worked on Altered Carbon). “Steve’s phenomenal work on The Umbrella Academy helped propel the series’ worldwide fandom,” Wright said. “He’s deeply creative, passionate and thoughtful, and we’re so excited to have him make a home at Netflix.”

The deal guarantees that whatever other series Blackman and his production company come up with, it will be at Netflix. But with a bird in their hand already with the huge success of Umbrella Academy, it's hard to picture Netflix declining more any time soon.

When will Season 3 of The Umbrella Academy be released?

So, while we do have assurance that the show will be back for Season 3, and know for sure that production will begin in February 2021, we don't yet have information on when Season 3 will be released. That's not out of the ordinary—Netflix typically doesn't announce release dates for its shows until about a month before release.

If the show begins filming in February and wraps up by summer, the earliest possible release date would be some time in Fall 2021. More likely, the season will be released around the time of past seasons; February/March of 2022 (like Season 1), or mid-summer 2022 (like Season 2).

Showrunner Steve Blackman already has big plans.

With The Umbrella Academy picked up for a third season, it's clear that viewers are going to be in store for another action-packed, time-traveling, tipsy-turvy season. Blackman gave a fairly extensive interview to TV Guide discussing all sorts of possibilities for the third season. One of the biggest takeaways is that he wants to further explore Reginald Hargreeves' backstory in Season 3. And considering Reginald was revealed to be a) an alien and b) still alive in the new timeline, there's quite a bit to explore there.

"My Season 3 goal for Hargreeves, played by Colm Feore who is just amazing, is to learn much more about his backstory," he said. "Who really is Hargreeves? What is his agenda? What is the purpose of these kids? In knowing Hargreeves, we will know more about the origin story of these kids, hopefully."

He also made a good point about something Klaus will have to deal with going forward: the loss of Ben from inside his head.

I think that's going to be a very challenging loss next year. I think. As much as [Klaus] complains about Ben, Ben is the closest person in his life. He's the one constant in Klaus' universe and Klaus is an epic f--k up in so many ways. But Ben is this wonderful, insightful man, who all the siblings loved. He was the one that got along with everybody. [Ben] is [Klaus]' conscience, he is his voice of goodness who says to him, "That's a bad decision," or "You could do better." Having that gone and out of his mind will be a huge loss for Klaus going forward.

The entire interview is worth checking out, but Blackman ended the conversation by diving into the main theme for Season 3: the family finding out who they really are. We know about the event with the 43 unexplained births in 1989, but we don't know much more. And from Blackman's answer, it sounds like that might be a road we're heading down in the future.

"Trying to understand their origin is one of the themes we are going to address next year," he said. "The first season was meet the family. Season 2 was get to know the family. Season 3 is, who are we and where did we come from? What are we as superheroes? [That] is really a story I'd love to think about more in Season 3."

What would the story be?

Unlike the first season of The Umbrella Academy, the end of the second season actually found our heroes in a position of success—they managed to prevent the apocalypse. They also all seem to be in a pretty good place with one another, having lived for a few years in the '60s; every member of the gang seems more mature than when we first met them in Season 1 (that's character development, baby!).

Photo credit: Men's Health
Photo credit: Men's Health

It's not all peaches and cream, though—as we saw at the very end of the season, their meddling in the past created an alternate timeline. And while the future they made it back to wasn't destroyed by an apocalypse (or any of the Vanya-induced mania that we saw at the end of the first season), some things were very messed up. Let's recap quickly: Reginald Hargreeves was still alive, and also didn't recognize his adopted children. We also learned that the mansion isn't called "The Umbrella Academy,", but rather now "The Sparrow Academy." And, oh yeah—Ben is still alive, as we saw him at the forefront of another group of figures, presumably Sparrow Academy members, in silhouette.

So, that Season 2 ending gives us a pretty decent set up of what Season 3 would be—our guys have got to figure that whole mess out. And it's a decent setup, too. After two seasons of the gang literally trying to save the world from impending doom and apocalypse, a season of smaller problems, trying to find themselves and straighten out the timelines, would be a nice change of pace.

Castañeda expressed the same sort of idea for a third season plotline in his interview with Men's Health. "I just hope that he gets closure with his father," he said when talking of Diego's potential storyline in a Season 3. "Maybe he gets a bigger opportunity that doesn’t have to deal with him trying to save the world. More of an internal way of saving himself."

Think of the difference between a massive MCU movie like Avengers: Endgame, and a lower-stakes piece like Ant-Man. Both work, and both can exist in the same universe, and both can have very different feelings.


Would it follow the Dark Horse Comics?

It's hard to say specifically, since the show and comics have strayed somewhat from one another. But as the first season of the show largely covered the "Apocalypse Suite" storyline, and the second season primarily followed the "Dallas" storyline, it's possible that the third season would follow the comic's third major plotline, which is called "Hotel Oblivion." But that story begins with the heroes all scattered throughout the world, and as we saw at the end of Season 2, the heroes are all together—just in a timeline that's very different from the one they know.

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