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Umbrella Academy season 2 release date, cast and plot

The Netflix original series The Umbrella Academy was a breakout hit for the streaming giant, and pulled in some of their best numbers for the first quarter of 2019. It's no surprise that the show is returning for a second season, especially considering the cliffhanger that closed the first.

The comics that the show is based on are still running. Gerard Way, series creator and writer (alongside artist Gabriel Bá), says that the overall goal is, basically, to not fall into the trap that hit Game of Thrones. He told Radio Times, "The goal for us is to stay ahead of the show and since we're on series three [of the comics], we are now ahead of the show."

With another season on the way, however, it's time to start compiling what we know so far about where The Umbrella Academy will go from here. Think of this as your one-stop shop for all the news about the further adventures of these dysfunctional superheroes.

What's the release date for The Umbrella Academy season 2?

We do not yet have an official release date for the second season of The Umbrella Academy. However, we can suss out some theories of when to expect the show, based on how long the turnaround was for the first season.

The first season appears to have taken about a year from when it began shooting to when it premiered on Netflix. In January 2018, comic creators Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá shared a picture from the first day of production. The show itself premiered just over a year later, in February 2019. Season 2 got underway in June 2019. If we take the first season as a model, that means we can hopefully expect season two somewhere in the second half of 2020.

Obviously, it's not a perfect estimate. It's possible season 2 could take less time to film, as it may be fast-tracked due to the show's success. It could also take longer, as they may want to spend more time on it (or pump more money into post-production efforts). We'll have an update when we get an official word, but fans can probably pencil in "late 2020" until further notice.

Who's returning to the Umbrella Academy cast for season 2?

Considering what a huge hit the first season of The Umbrella Academy was, it would be hard to believe that a second season would work without all the principal actors returning. And, thanks to the joys of social media, we know that all seven of Reginald Hargreeves' children will be back for the second season, played by the same actors.

The official Twitter account for The Umbrella Academy shared a video on June 15th, 2019, showing the first script reading for the second season. All seven lead actors can be seen: Emmy Raver-Lampman (Allison), David Castaneda (Diego), Tom Hopper (Luther), Robert Sheehan (Klaus), Ellen Page (Vanya), Aidan Gallagher (Number Five), and Justin H. Min (Ben) all appear holding the script for the table read.

What we don't know yet is which other major players from the first season might be back. Mary J. Blige and Cameron Britton (time-traveling assassins Cha-Cha and Hazel), Colm Feore (Reginald Hargreeves), Sheila McCarthy (Agnes), Kate Walsh (The Handler), and many others all had significant roles in the first season. We could very well see some of them again, but due to the events of the finale, none of these characters would be absolutely essential in carrying the second season's plot forward.

Who's joining the Umbrella Academy cast for season 2?

We knew that the entire principal cast was returning for the second season of Umbrella Academy, but we've been in the dark as to what newbies might be coming aboard. No longer — in September, Netflix announced the three new cast members that we will see in the show's second season: Yusuf Gatewood, Marin Ireland, and Ritu Arya.

Gatewood was recently seen as Famine, one of the four horsemen, in Amazon Prime's Good Omens adaptation. In Umbrella Academy, he will play Raymond, who Netflix describes as "a charismatic born leader." If you remember Famine's smooth talking from Good Omens, that sounds perfectly suited for Gatewood.

Ireland, who will play Sissy, has dozens of credits to her name, but Sneaky Pete is the one most likely to ring some bells. Arya will play Lila, described as "a chameleon, who can be as brilliant or insane as the situation requires." She has appeared in several BBC shows, as well as the AMC series Humans.

Interestingly, none of these characters have appeared in the Umbrella Academy comics (at least, not yet). Even with these announcements, we're still in the dark about where season 2's story is headed.

Where will the Umbrella Academy story go for season 2?

The end of The Umbrella Academy's first season saw most of our siblings joining together to try to stop their sister, Vanya (in her full, badass "White Violin" persona) from bringing about the apocalypse. They... did not succeed, as an attempt to stop Vanya's sound-based powers (Allison fires a gun off directly next to her ear) inadvertently sent a wave of energy towards the moon. Pieces of the moon began to rain down, destroying the world just as the siblings jumped back in time.

This ending differs a bit from the first volume of the comic, but it followed the same basic path. It seems likely that season two will at least draw inspiration from the second volume of the comic, Dallas. It deals with the Academy trying to assassinate JFK in order to prevent the apocalypse.

Considering they were unable to stop the world from ending at the end of the first season, traveling back in time and giving it another go seems like a fairly solid plan. However, it may deviate from the comics — the first episode of the second season is titled "Right Back Where We Started." We'll have to wait and see.

How many seasons of The Umbrella Academy will there be?

We find ourselves once more in the realm of speculation, but we have a pretty good path to follow to suss out how long The Umbrella Academy could wind up running. Obviously, the true answer is "as long as it keeps making money." The Umbrella Academy's first season was a huge hit for Netflix. As long as it keeps people tuned to the streaming platform, Netflix will probably find a way to keep financing the show.

A more nuanced answer is probably in the vicinity of "no more than seven seasons." In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, comics creator Gerard Way and showrunner Steve Blackman talked about the planned story. Way said that he has eight volumes of comic stories planned, and that Blackman has an outline of major plot points. However, the first season of the show drew elements from both the first and second volumes, so a "one volume = one season" formula doesn't really work here.

We're still in relatively uncharted territory for "how long a Netflix original can last," but The Umbrella Academy should be around for several more seasons if it keeps viewers' interest.

How many Umbrella Academy comics have been released?

The publication schedule of the Umbrella Academy comics has been a bit all over the place. The first issue was released in 2007, with the first two volumes, Apocalypse Suite and Dallas, collected in their entirety by the end of 2008. The third (and, to date, final) collected Umbrella Academy story is Hotel Oblivion. Despite its announcement immediately after the conclusion of Dallas, Hotel Oblivion didn't begin publication until 2018. So, why the long delay?

Comic creator Gerard Way is also a musician, best known for his work with My Chemical Romance. Though the band broke up in 2013, he has remained busy with solo work, and it's understandable that his music projects have prevented him from having a full-time career as a writer. However, it seems likely that Netflix's interest in creating The Umbrella Academy is what brought him back to devote more time to the comics. He told The Hollywood Reporter that he is planning on eight volumes, and he hopes that the comics can stay ahead of the show. While we wait for a second season of the show, we can likely expect to start hearing news about the fourth volume of the books.

What would we like to see in season 2 of The Umbrella Academy?

Obviously, the most logical prediction about where The Umbrella Academy's second season is headed would be to follow the comics and get into the JFK assassination. However, there are plenty of other mysteries from the pages of the books that the show could turn to.

The show touched on it, but a little more backstory about Sir Reginald would be nice — especially considering that, in the comics, we're told that he's an alien almost immediately. The last episode of the first season gave some hints towards this, but never really addressed it. Along those lines, that revelation would also raise another obvious question: what about all the other mystery children? There are supposedly 42 of them, and Reginald enlisted seven to begin his Academy. Season 2 could certainly catch up with some of those other kids.

The other looming possibility is the Hotel Oblivion and, specifically, John Perseus. The new season will need a good villain, and Perseus seems a likely candidate, especially if he works more in the background of the second season before becoming an even bigger threat in season 3. The Umbrella Academy has dealt with other villains, but Perseus seems like the best bet for television.

Behind the scenes of Umbrella Academy season 2

Details are still under tight lock and key for the second season of Umbrella Academy, but that hasn't stopped some of the cast members from trying to get us details. The show's official Instagram page posted some behind-the-scenes pictures and a video (featuring Justin H. Min, a.k.a. Ben Hargreeves). They don't give away any plot details, but they do showcase a few other returning actors that we hadn't yet heard about.

The post starts with a video of Min, offering a little "BTS" before realizing that they're actually shooting and cutting the video abruptly off. A series of pictures follows, showing many of the actors enjoying some downtime, including most of those who play the Hargreeves children.

As far as new information, these pictures confirm a few characters that will be a part of the second season in some capacity. One shot shows the Handler, played by Kate Walsh. Another reveals Grace, the Hargreeves' robotic mother, played by Jordan Claire Robbins. Neither of these returns is a huge surprise, but it's nice to see some familiar faces. Maybe Min can share some more revelatory things with his next post?

Netflix says that season two is "coming soon"

Though it seems unlikely that season two of The Umbrella Academy will be on the way before the end of 2019, Netflix has piqued fans' interest once again. The streaming giant posted a few behind the scenes photos on Instagram of cast members Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, and Justin H. Min, and they included the words "coming soon."

The full caption reads "just some good eggs taking a family selfie. Umbrella Academy s2 is coming soon."

We still don't have a release date for season 2 of the show but, given the timeline we know of when it began filming and how long the first season took to complete, it seems unlikely that it could be finished by the end of 2019. With the show's popularity, it's a safe bet that Netflix would fast track the second season, and "soon" is a very subjective term. This message does raise some hope to expect the show's second season sooner rather than later, and gives an exciting look at the fun being had on the set.