Tim Burton famously passed on the offer to make a movie based on Charles Addams’ famous cartoon strip family (they’d previously arrived on screens via a 1960s TV series). But he’s now fully involved in the upcoming Netflix TV series ‘Wednesday’, which as the title suggests, focuses on the eldest child of the family.
The first trailer for the show explores how the ultimate troubled teen – not that she or her family would see her that way – has been expelled from a variety of ill-fitting schools through the years but might finally have a chance to fit in at Nevermore Academy, with which her parents have history. But even there, she faces issues (see more on that below).
It’s a stylish and fun first proper peek at the series, as Wednesday (Jenna Ortega) gets revenge on jocks who have been tormenting brother Pugsley (Isaac Ordonez) by releasing piranhas in the high school athletes’ pool.
And you can also see Ortega as Wednesday in a new image, with Catherine Zeta-Jones as mom Morticia, Luis Guzmán as dad Gomez, and Ordonez’ Pugsley.
While people these days tend to associate Gomez with the suave, lithe Raul Julia from the 1990s movies (which Barry Sonnenfeld ended up directing), the intent here was to bring him back closer to the original illustrated version.
“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,” co-show-runner Alfred Gough tells Vanity Fair.
“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,” his colleague and fellow executive producer Mark Millar offers. “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.”
Gough and Millar came up with the original concept and are running the show, while Burton directs and produces.
‘Wednesday’ is described a sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore. Wednesday attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorized the local town and solve the supernatural mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago — all while navigating her new and very tangled relationships at Nevermore.
Gwendoline Christie, recently seen in ‘Sandman’, is Larissa Weems, head teacher of Nevermore, and apparently no fan of the Addams clan, with an axe to grind stretching back years to her time as a classmate of Morticia.
The cast also includes Thora Birch, Tommie Earl Jenkins, Iman Marson, William Houston, Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo, Oliver Watson, Calum Ross, Johnna Dias Watson, Riki Lindhome, Jamie McShane, Hunter Doohan, Georgie Farmer, Moosa Mostafa, Emma Myers, Naomi J. Ogawa, Joy Sunday and Percy Hynes White.
Also popping up – and providing an unexpected link to the movies – is Christina Ricci in an unknown role. She, of course, famously played Wednesday in 1991’s ‘The Addams Family’ and 1993’s ‘Addams Family Values’.
Netflix has yet to announce when ‘Wednesday’ will arrive on the streaming service, beyond saying it’ll be in the fall. We’re thinking around Halloween might be the perfect spot. Perfectly terrible, and therefore perfect if we’re channelling Wednesday.