Nine-time Grammy winner and two-time Academy Award nominee Mary J. Blige (Mudbound) is set to join the cast of the Netflix original series The Umbrella Academy. She joins a cast of series regulars that already includes Ellen Page as "Vanya", Tom Hopper as "Luther," Emmy Raver-Lampman as "Allison," David Castañeda as "Diego," Robert Sheehan as "Klaus," and Aidan Gallagher as "Number Five." There is no indication yet as to how many more characters still need to be cast at this time.
Mary J. Blige is set for the series regular role of "Cha-Cha," a ruthless and unorthodox hitwoman who travels through time to kill assigned targets. Even though she has a few gripes about the bureaucracy of her employers, this job is her life. She is sadistic, sociopathic, and her reputation precedes her. Her true love is torture, and she thinks of herself as a "pain artist." She really doesn't care for people-except for her partner Hazel. The Hazel character for this Netflix original series has yet to be cast, and it isn't quite clear yet when production may begin on this new series.
Based on the popular, Eisner award-winning comics and graphic novels of the same name created and written by Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance), illustrated by Gabriel Bá, and published by Dark Horse Comics, the live action series follows the estranged members of a dysfunctional family of superheroes (The Umbrella Academy), Luther, Diego, Allison, Vanya, Klaus and Number Five, as they work together to solve their father Reginald Hargreeves' mysterious death, while coming apart at the seams due to their divergent personalities and abilities.
Published by Dark Horse Comics, the comic series garnered much praise from fans and critics alike for its alternate and twisted take on the superhero genre. The Umbrella Academy will be produced by Universal Cable Productions. Steve Blackman (Fargo, Altered Carbon) will serve as executive producer and showrunner, with additional executive producers Bluegrass Television and Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg from Dark Horse Entertainment. Gerard Way will serve as co-executive producer. The pilot script was adapted from the comic book by Jeremy Slater (The Exorcist).
While she is best known as a musical performer, Mary J. Blige is no stranger to the big and small screen alike. She landed her first two Academy Award nominations last month for the Netflix original movie Mudbound, earning a nod for Best Performance by a Supporting Actress for playing Florence Jackson, and also getting a nomination for Best Original Song for "Mighty River," which she shares with Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson. She also lends her voice to Irene in the upcoming animated feature Sherlock Gnomes, and she has had recent guest-starring appearances on hit shows such as How to Get Away With Murder, black-ish and Empire, while also starring in The Wiz Live. Other movie credits include Black Nativity, Rock of Ages, I Can Do Bad All By Myself and Prison Song, along with guest-starring spots on 30 Rock, Entourage and Ghost Whisperer. Hopefully we'll find out more about this Netflix series very soon.