If you would have tuned into MTV's Total Request Live in 2005, you might have seen Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You" battling it out for position on the countdown against My Chemical Romance's "Helena," with two very different sets of tweens in the audience rooting them on. It would have been hard then to predict that hip-hop soul singer Blige would ever collaborate in any way with a member of the moodiest of mall goth bands. Then again, it would have also been hard to predict that Blige would one day be an Oscar-nominated actress and that MCR's lead singer Gerard Way would be an award-winning comic book creator. Yet, it's those second careers that are finally bringing those former TRL mainstays together.
Blige has just signed on to co-star in Umbrella Academy, an upcoming Netflix show based on the heralded comic series that Way created.
The series, set in an alternate history version of '70s, is about a dysfunctional family of superheroes who were all adopted and raised by one man but gradually drift apart until their father is murdered and they reunite to find the culprit. It sort of sounds like The Royale Tenanbaums meets X-Men, but directed by Tim Burton. Ellen Page, a former Oscar nominee as well, has also signed to play one of the siblings. She'll by joined by Game of Thrones actor Tom Hopper, Hamilton alum Emmy Raver-Lampman, and Misfits star Robert Sheehan.
Blige will not be playing a member of the family, but rather a villain by the name of Cha-Cha. TV Line describes the character as a "ruthless and unorthodox hitwoman who travels through time to kill assigned targets.” Though, her character might be even more intriguing than that, because, well, here's how Cha-Cha appears in the original comic books (the one with the blue head):
In the comics, Cha-Cha is a psychotic killer who is always joined by partner Hazel. They only care about each other, and candy. Somewhat notably, the character is also male in the comics. So, there will definitely be a few changes made from the source material.
Though, it does seem like they will cast a Hazel as well. But who could compliment Blige? Perhaps they might want to look at other mid-00s TRL favs for inspiration. What's Jessica Simpson up to? Is Samantha Mumba still around? Wait, actually, would it be possible to cast Christina Aguilera? Please, take a moment to savor the mental image Blige and Aguilera as a team of time-traveling psychotic hit women out to torment Ellen Page and then don't get too disappointed when they end up casting Avril Lavigne instead. The show still seems potentially epic either way.