The Umbrella Academy season 3 will be full of 'delightful surprises' - here's why

the umbrella academy season 2
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Umbrella Academy season 3 is in full production mode at Netflix. Little is known about the next instalment in the streamer's superhero TV adaptation and, perhaps surprisingly, there hadn't been any major photo leaks while filming is ongoing.

That is until recently, however. We've finally been given a glimpse at The Umbrella Academy season 3 by way of some leaked production photographs, and it appears that Luther and the gang could be heading for a humorous showdown with The Sparrow Academy.

The images, which were picked up by the Netflix Updates Twitter fan account (after previously being uploaded to @seanmovies on Instagram) on May 13, don't give too much away about season 3's plot. However, there are some things we can speculate about based on who appears in the images and what episode(s) they may be a part of.

Check out the leaked set photos in the tweet below, and then read on for our analysis:

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Analysis: what do The Umbrella Academy season 3 set photos tell us about the plot?

Spoilers for The Umbrella Academy season 2 follow.

There's nothing we can glean from season 3's overarching plot, but we can make predictions about some of the finer details of its story.

As one of the photographs show, Tom Hopper's Luther is suspended upside down in the air after appearing to strike a lamp post, which you can see on the ground next to him. Another image shows Luther flat on his back later, too, which suggests he's been telekinetically thrown into the air before crashing back down to Earth.

What's interesting about these photos, however, is who else is present in them. There are three Sparrow Academy members around Luther, and we can work out who they are based on their appearance.

The first is obviously this reality's version of Ben (Justin H. Min). In season 2, The Umbrella Academy's Ben sacrificed himself to save Vanya but, after the group time traveled to the wrong dimension in the season 2 finale, we found out that there's an alternate reality Ben, too. In this universe, he's second-in-command of The Sparrow Academy, so he's likely leading his two fellow members back to base or on a mission.

As for who those other individuals are, it's Fei and Sloane Hargreeves. These female characters will be played by Britne Oldford and Genesis Rodriguez in season 3, and we can deduce it's these two characters based on their appearances.

When The Sparrow Academy casting announcements were confirmed in January 2021, each came with a brief description about their characters. Fei is described as a "misanthrope who would rather be alone", which ties in well with her black dress sense.

Sloane, meanwhile is a "romantic and a dreamer who feels a higher cosmic calling leaving her eager to see the world". Admittedly, this doesn't tie into anything about her dress code, but the only other female Sparrow Academy this could be is is Jayme, who will be played by Cazzie David. It doesn't look like David, though, so it has to be Rodriguez's character Sloane.

Why, then, are the trio standing over Luther? It's possible that Luther has tried to engage with them in some capacity, but they're not interested in speaking to him. If Luther has tried to be too persistent - and he has a history of doing so - one of the Sparrow Academy could telekinetically throw him into the air before dropping to the ground with a bang.

The Sparrow Academy's powers haven't been revealed in the comics yet, so we don't have confirmation as to what abilities they have. Regardless, this seems like the most obvious fit, based on the leaked photos. If it does, it could be more of a humorous showdown than a serious one, but it's a showdown between the two groups nonetheless.

We suspect that the two groups will butt heads for much of the first half of season 3, with Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) playing them off one another. If that's the case, these images should be from early on in season 3, such as episode 1 or 2. It's pretty certain that the two groups will eventually join forces to take down season 3's main antagonist but, for now, we don't know who that is.

The Umbrella Academy season 3 will 'surprise' fans

Our thoughts on season 3 tie into recent comments made by some of the show’s cast, too. In footage posted on the official Netflix Twitter account, Elliot Page - who portrays Vanya Hargreeves - explained that, after reading season 3’s scripts, he was “often surprised” by where the plot was going. 

Additionally, Emmy Raver-Lampman, who plays Allison Hargreeves, admitted that season 3 is the first time that she doesn’t know “what the end goal is” for the series.

Check out the tweet below for more on their thoughts:

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Page's and Raver-Lampman's comments are to be expected, in a way. The Umbrella Academy comics only introduced the Sparrow Academy in the final pages of its third volume - Hotel Oblivion - so the TV series could pull a Game of Thrones and surpass the source material for the first time.

With that being the case, it’s possible that our theory about the Sparrows and Umbrella Academy butting heads will be key to season 3’s early plot. After that, though, who knows where it’ll go. We’ve speculated where the story could go in our Umbrella Academy season 3 hub, so check that out for more of our theories.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

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