How many crime-fighting superhero families can the world of The Umbrella Academy accommodate? Well, guess we’ll find out soon.
For those of you who don’t recall (which is totally fair, given that July 31, 2020 was approximately 179 years ago), the conclusion of The Umbrella Academy season 2 introduced a second Umbrella-style superhero team: The Sparrow Academy. After saving the world in 1960s Dallas, the Hargreeves’ children returned home to their Umbrella Academy mansion only to find that it was occupied by a different “Academy”, this one calling themselves The Sparrows. What’s more is that one of their own, the dearly departed Ben Hargreeves (Justin H. Min) was both alive and a Sparrow member.
At the time, this was a helpful lesson that time travel has its consequences. Now, however, it’s clearer than ever that The Sparrow Academy is here to stay and will remain a big part of the already-announced Umbrella Academy season 3. Netflix today announced the casting of all seven Sparrow Academy members. The new super-powered family is as follows (with descriptions provided by Netflix).
JUSTIN CORNWELL (I Am the Night) will play MARCUS, Sparrow #1.
A charming, chiseled, colossus. Honest, virtuous, and demanding, Marcus keeps the family together. Graceful but lethal, calculated but compassionate, he is as smart as he is strong. Marcus is disciplined, rational and in control. He oozes confidence and leadership without ever having to raise his voice.
JUSTIN H. MIN (The Umbrella Academy) will play BEN, Sparrow #2.
This is not the sweet Ben we know and love. This Ben is a Machiavellian tactician, wrapped up in a pretty boy body with a rumbling inner-squid. Vicious, pragmatic, and hyper-vigilant— Ben is determined to gain his status as the leader at all costs.
BRITNE OLDFORD (Hunters) will play FEI, Sparrow #3.
Fei sees the world in a special way. She comes across as a misanthrope who would rather be alone than spend even a second with you. But truth be told, Fei wishes she had a friend. Most of the time, Fei is the smartest person in the room and willing to work things out. But if you cross her there’s no looking back because Fei won’t stop until the job is done.
JAKE EPSTEIN (Designated Survivor) will play ALPHONSO, Sparrow #4.
Years of crime fighting have left his face and body with countless visual reminders of his battles. To compensate, Alphonso is armed with a caustic and biting sense of humor. The only thing he likes better than verbally battering anyone foolish enough to get in his face, is a good pizza and a six-pack of beer.
GENESIS RODRIGUEZ (The Fugitive) will play SLOANE, Sparrow #5.
A romantic and a dreamer who feels a higher cosmic calling leaving her eager to see the world and experience a life beyond her upbringing. But obligations to her family keep Sloane tethered to the Academy, as does her fear of crossing the family line. But Sloane has plans… and one day she might just be brave enough to act on them.
CAZZIE DAVID (86’ed, NY Times best-selling author of “No One Asked for This”) will play JAYME, Sparrow #6.
Jayme is a loner hidden under a hoodie. She doesn’t say much because she doesn’t have to. Jayme has a fear-inducing snarl. Catch a glimpse of it, and you’ll run across the street to avoid what follows. Smart and sharp as a knife, she spends most of her time hanging with Alphonso, her only friend.
EXISTENTIAL DREAD INDUCING PSYKRONIUM CUBE (Newcomer) will play CHRISTOPHER, Sparrow #7.
Christopher is a telekinetic cube of unknown origin. He can turn the room freezing cold and induce paralyzing fear. He acts as the Sparrows’ consulted oracle who hands out incredible advice and serves as the family mediator. Trustworthy, loyal, and is treated by the Sparrows like any other sibling, Christopher is a force to be reckoned with.
There’s certainly a lot to break down there. For starters, congrats to Existential Dread Inducing Psykronium Cube. We know he’s been putting in the work for years and he finally got his big role. It’s also nice to see Ben jump from #6 in The Umbrella Academy to #2 for The Sparrow Academy. After that, there isn’t much Sparrow Academy canon to draw from Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s Umbrella Academy comic to get a sense of how the show did with its casting. The Sparrow Academy only enters the action briefly in the end of the comic’s “Hotel Oblivion” arc so their abilities and personalities seem very much up for grabs.
In speaking with Den of Geek after the premiere of Umbrella Academy season 2 showrunner Steve Blackman confirmed that he had a wide latitude in crafting the identities of The Sparrow Academy.
“I think it will be open for me to decide. Gerard has such wonderful ideas and if they work for our storytelling, we’ll use it. If not, I’ll come up with my own version of it. My goal is to keep as much as I can for the graphic novel fans for as long as it works within the setting of a 10-episode show.”
Production on The Umbrella Academy season 3 begins in February in Toronto. Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Ritu Arya, Adam Godley, Colm Feore, and of course, Justin H. Min will all reprise their roles.