Although The Addams Family has gotten cinematic attention in recent years from two animated movies, this fall will bring another live-action adaptation of this creepy, kooky and altogether ooky clan. Back in June, we got our first look at Jenna Ortega’s Wednesday Addams in the Netflix show Wednesday, and now the first look look at the central character with other members of her family is here. Additionally, Wednesday co-creator Alfred Gough has provided some details on how this Tim Burton-directed streaming series stands apart from past live-action adaptations of this property.
A year ago, it was announced that Luis Guzmán would play Gomez Addams in Wednesday, and a few days later, Catherine Zeta-Jones was cast as Morticia Addams. Wednesday will also feature Isaac Ordonez as Pugsley Addams, and you can see Jenna Ortega’s Wednesday with her brother and parents in the photo below from Vanity Fair:
Wednesday marks the first time since The Addams Family has been depicted in live-action since the ‘90s, which not only delivered the theatrically-released movies The Addams Family and Addams Family Values, but also the direct-to-video movie Addams Family Reunion and the short-lived TV series The New Addams Family. The above picture is definitely giving off the right kind of vibes you’d expect from these characters, although it is strange to see Uncle Fester, Grandmama and Lurch absent from the lineup. While it remains to be seen if the former two will appear in Wednesday, Lurch will be played by George Burcea.
In any case, considering the kind of gothic content Tim Burton has churned out in his filmmaking career, it’s about time that he’s paired with The Addams Family, and as his first TV outing to boot! Ironically, Burton was pitched the first Addams Family movie back in the early ‘90s, but he passed on it. There was also a stop-motion Addams Family movie planned in the early 2010s that Burton was set to co-write and co-produce, but that was shelved. In any case, among the ways Burton looked to make Wednesday stand out from the previous live-action Addams Family projects was to harken back to the original Addams Family cartoons from Charles Addams with Gomez’s look. As Alfred Gough explained:
He wanted the silhouette to look more like the Charles Addams cartoons, which is Gomez shorter than Morticia, versus the kind of suave Raul Julia version in the movies.
Along with Raul Julia, Gomez Addams has been played in live-action by John Astin, Tim Curry and Glenn Taranto, while Oscar Isaac voiced him in the animated movies that came out in 2019 and 2021. Now it’s Luis Guzmán’s turn to bring the character to life, and co-creator Miles Millar had the following to say about this version of the character, along with what Tim Burton hoped to accomplish with Wednesday:
He’s also incredibly debonair and romantic, and I think he has all those classic ingredients of the Gomez that has come before, but he brings something also very different and new. That’s something that was very important to the show—that it didn’t feel like a remake or a reboot. It’s something that lives within the Venn diagram of what happened before, but it’s its own thing. It’s not trying to be the movies or the ’60s TV show. That was very important to us and very important to Tim.
Make no mistake though, don’t go into Wednesday thinking this will be another traditional Addams Family story. The series follows the title protagonist as an older teenager attending Nevermore Academy, a prestigious boarding school for outcasts. Wednesday’s arrival coincides with a series of murders plaguing the town where the institution is based. So while we will be seeing a fair amount of Morticia, Gomez and Pugsly in Wednesday (particularly Mortica, as Catherine Zeta-Jones is a series regular), it needs to be made abundantly clear to Netflix subscribers that Wednesday Addams is front and center in this adaptation. Alfred Gough also mentioned that that Tim Burton was drawn to how he’d be able to explore the Wednesday character without having to “wrap things up in an hour and 45 minutes,” and Miles Millar added that the “ambition of the show was to make it an eight-hour Tim Burton movie.”
While we wait to learn when Wednesday will premiere on Netflix and other details about the show, read through our 2022 Netflix TV schedule to learn what other shows the platform is delivering for the rest of the year.