TV

Umbrella Academy boss rewrote entire season after Elliot Page came out: ‘It’s a credit to Elliot’

Maggie Baska June 28, 2022
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Elliot Page appears as his character from the Netflix show The Umbrella Academy. The character, Viktor, is wearing a white t-shirt and blue hooded sweatshirt as he stands outside and talks to someone off screen

The Umbrella Academy's Steve Blackman "already finished" season three when Elliot Page came out, and he decided to weave a trans storyline into the show for the actor. (Netflix)

The Umbrella Academy showrunner has revealed that he rewrote the latest season of the hit Netflix series after Elliot Page came out. 

In March, Page revealed to eager The Umbrella Academy fans that their character Viktor would come out as trans in season three, and the show depicted Viktor’s transition narrative gracefully with approval from Page. The storyline mirrored Page’s journey after they came out in December 2020 and openly shared their journey with fans.

The Umbrella Academy creator and showrunner Steve Blackman shared in an interview with ET that he decided to rewrite season three after Page came out. He said that he respectfully wove Viktor’s journey into the series not at the request of Page but because it felt right for the character. 

“I had already finished the season, the writers were gone, scripts were finished and I got a call from Elliot one day saying, ‘I’m transitioning’,” Blackman recalled. “I was very happy for him”. 

He continued: “To his credit, he didn’t demand that I write it into the story. He said, ‘Do what you want. I trust you. Write it in, don’t write it in, whatever you want to do’. Elliot is very kind like that.”

Blackman decided to write in the trans character even though he didn’t “know a lot about what it is to be transgender” or “how to tell that story”. So he reached out to GLAAD’s Nick Adams and Thomas Page McBee, a trans author and journalist, for guidance on how to craft an inclusive narrative that honoured both Elliot Page as well as Viktor. 

He described how he didn’t want to “hang a lantern” on Viktor’s trans identity and “make it the sob story of the season”. Blackman said the group all agreed that they wanted it to be “something that just happened and let the family react to it”. 

Elliot Page appears as his character from the Netflix show The Umbrella Academy. The character, Viktor, is wearing a white t-shirt and blue hooded sweatshirt as he stands indoors and speaks to someone off screen
The Umbrella Academy showrunner Steve Blackman said it was important not to make Viktor’s journey the “sob story of the season”. (Netflix)

The Umbrella Academy showrunner added that Elliot Page, who he said has “such a generosity of spirit”, “didn’t make any demands” of him or request that he include any specific points. Instead, he wrote up some scenes and sent them to Page for feedback.

“I just sent the pages to Elliot and I said, ‘What do you think?’ And he said, ‘They’re beautiful’,” Blackman said. “They had a few thoughts and that was it”. 

He continued: “He was so kind to me, he didn’t make any demands on it. He just said, ‘Craft the story you want to tell’, and that was really wonderful. 

“You can’t get better as the showrunner, as a writer, from someone like that.”

Elliot Page told the Hollywood Reporter that Viktor has “always resonated so deeply” with them “from the get-go”, and they said one of the “most special things” about the season is how Viktor’s transition is “handled”. 

“It’s not void of emotional moments with the siblings, of course,” Page said. “I think they’re each individually special and in relation to their specific relationship.”

He added: “The scene when Luther and Diego are coming down the stairs and Luther’s awkwardness and all these things, these were — simultaneously I’m experiencing all that, because I’ve stepped into this moment where I’m a trans person and perceived that way, and having all these new experiences I didn’t have before. 

“Then these scenes were resonating with that, which was really incredible. We don’t see that when we’re not in control of our stories a lot of the time. So it felt really special.”

All three seasons of The Umbrella Academy are streaming on Netflix. 

 

More: Elliot Page, netflix, The Umbrella Academy

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