Watch a trailer for Tim Burton's Wednesday
Burton was originally attached to direct 1991’s Addams Family adaptation, before deciding to direct Batman Returns.
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Over 30 years on Burton has finally worked on a project within the franchise which has undergone several planned iterations over the past decade from a stop-motion animation before ultimately taking shape as a live-action series on Netflix.
This is a fresh take on the beloved franchise, separate from the two live-action films starring Anjelica Huston, Christina Ricci and Raul Julia and also not linked to the more recent pair of animated films.
The franchise has gone through many iterations over the years from a TV series in the 1960s, the 90s films and a Broadway musical.
As the title suggests the series focusses on Wednesday Addams (played by Ricci in the 90s films) this version sees Scream star Jenna Ortega take on the role. It's billed as a coming-of-age supernatural mystery comedy, centred around Wednesday’s formative years at Nevermore Academy.
This version directed by Gothic maestro Burton is set to be closer in tone to Charles Addams cartoons which will help it stand apart from previous takes on the characters. The series allows the family and their relationships to be examined from the lens of Wednesday.
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In addition to Burton, episodes of Wednesday have been directed by Gandja Monteiro and James Marshall. The show was created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar who also serve as writers for the series. Burton regular Danny Elfman, who memorably composed the scores for both his Batman films among many others, returns on scoring duties.
Wednesday's release date
Wednesday premiered globally on Netflix on 23 November, 2022.
Ortega was cast in the lead role in May 2021, followed in August by Luis Guzmán as Gomez Addams and Catherine Zeta Jones as Morticia, previously played by Anjelica Huston.
Filming began in September 2021 in Bucharest, Romania and concluded in March 2022.
As with the films before it Wednesday features an ensemble cast with the latest spin on the gothic family. In the lead is 19-year-old Jenna Ortega, perhaps best known for her role as Tara Carpenter in the most recent film in the Scream franchise.
Talking about her version of Wednesday Addams Jenna Ortega said: "Wednesday is currently a teenager, and we've never seen her as a teenager before.
"Her snarky, snide remarks might not necessarily sound as charming when they're coming from somebody who should probably know better than a 10-year-old girl. That was a balancing act. We didn’t want to make her sound like every other teenage girl, but we also didn’t want to make her too ignorant. And we've never seen her on screen this much.
"Any other time you've seen Wednesday, she's been the one-liner, the end of a joke, she always hits it, and I think that's what people really love about her. But in this show, every scene is Wednesday. There's an opportunity to give her a bit more dimension, and she becomes a bit more of a real person, which I don't think we've ever seen before."
Joining Ortega as the members of the Addams family are Luis Guzmán as Gomez Addams and Catherine Zeta Jones as Morticia. The family is rounded out with newcomer Isaac Ordonez as Pugsley Addams.
Portlandia star Fred Armisen will play the role of Wednesday's Uncle Fester, previously played in the movies by Christopher Lloyd.
Armisen shaved his head to play the eccentric Addams relative, telling Vanity Fair: “They really did such a great job with the makeup and everything. I had no eyebrows. It was prosthetics over my eyebrows to give me that look. But I think that bald caps don’t look great all the time, so I was hoping to just make it that much more convincing.”
Other principal cast members include Riki Lindhome as Dr. Valerie Kinbott, Jamie McShane as Sheriff Donovan Galpin and Game of Thrones, Star Wars and The Sandman star Gwendoline Christie as Larissa Weems the principal of Nevermore Academy, and former classmate of Morticia who it is safe to say is not a fan of the troublesome family.
Thora Birch was originally cast in the series to play Tamara Novak but dropped out of the project due to personal reasons in December 2021.
Christina Ricci who of course played Wednesday so memorably in the film series has been cast to play Miss Thornhill, one of the teachers at Nevermore.
Wednesday sees an older version of the character than those put to screen previously as she navigates her high school years and the nature of her family. Prior to arriving at Nevermore, Wednesday has attended eight schools in five years, invariably being in trouble at each for her dark deeds. The older age of the character will help to differentiate the series from previous iterations of the character.
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The series’ synopsis reads “Wednesday Addams misadventures as a student at Nevermore Academy: a very unique boarding school snuggled in deepest New England”
Netflix appropriately released the first trailer for the series on Wednesday 17 August. This trailer followed a short teaser released in June to whet fans appetites.
The full trailer was released at New York Comic Con in October revealing Christina Ricci and Fred Armisen's roles in the show.
Wednesday is now streaming on Netflix. Watch the Wednesday trailer