Academy Award-nominated actress and musician Mary J. Blige has joined the cast of Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy.
Blige has signed on for one year as a series regular to play the role of Cha-Cha, a bizarre and brutal assassin who travels through time to eliminate her targets. Cha-Cha is a truly malevolent character who treats torture like an art and does not care at all for anyone but herself and her partner, Hazel.
This is Blige’s longest stint on a television series to date. Blige has previously starred in NBC’s production of The Wiz Live! and made guest appearances on Empire and Black-ish.
Blige is reteaming with Netflix after the streaming service distributed her critically-acclaimed film Mudbound. The film earned Blige two Academy Award nominations, one for Best Supporting Actress and one for co-writing the song “Mighty River” from the film. She was also nominated for Golden Globes in the equivalent categories. Blige already has nine Grammy Awards.
The Umbrella Academy is written by Jeremy Slater. It is based on the Dark Horse Comics series written by Gerard Way and drawn by Gabriel Ba. The series tells the story of an eccentric, dysfunctional, and estranged family of superheroes. The family is forced to come together to solve the mystery of their father’s murder.
The cast of The Umbrella Academy includes Tom Hopper as Luther, David Castaneda as Diego, Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison, Ellen Page as Vanya, Robert Sheehan as Klaus, and Aidan Gallagher as Number Five.
Steve Blackman serves as showrunner and executive producer of The Umbrella Academy. Bluegrass Television and Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg from Dark Horse Entertainment are also executive producers. Way is a co-executive producer.
The Umbrella Academy comics debuted in 2007 with the first miniseries, The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse, which serves as the inspiration for the first season of the television series. A second miniseries, The Umbrella Academy: Dallas, followed in 2008. The third miniseries, The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion, is currently being worked on by Way and Ba and a fourth miniseries has also been promised. The series has received multiple comics industry awards.
The Umbrella Academy is expected to premiere on Netflix in 2018.