Get those snapping fingers ready, because Netflix’s Wednesday series looks killer.
Directed by Tim Burton and starring ascendant horror darling Jenna Ortega, the Addams Family spinoff/reboot/reimagining (whatever they’re calling these things these days) has everything: tightly coiled braids, dead-eyed stares, and gleefully morbid one-liners. The first teaser finds our gloomy icon sticking up for her brother with a deadly prank involving some swim-team jocks and a couple bags of piranhas.
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán play Wednesday’s doting parents, the wickedly sensual Morticia and consummate wife guy Gomez. Isaac Ordonez plays Wednesday’s less-famous brother, Pugsley. (Depending on the iteration, the siblings’ relative ages change, but Wednesday has typically been the younger of the two.)
Here, as in Addams Family Values, we meet Wednesday as she confronts the quirks and challenges of a new world away from her family—in this case, Nevermore Academy. (Thankfully for everyone involved, it doesn’t look like this place has an annual Thanksgiving pageant.) Other actors on-hand for the mayhem to come include Gwendoline Christie and Christina Ricci—who remains, for many, the most memorable Wednesday Addams we’ve ever seen.
Lisa Loring played the original Wednesday Addams in the 1960’s TV series, which cast the character younger and a little more innocent than modern iterations. But the stronger touchstone for most young viewers is likely Ricci, who gave the character her unnerving edge in 1991’s Addams Family film adaptation and its masterful sequel, 1993’s Addams Family Values. Other performers, including Debi Derryberry and Chloe Grace Moretz, have voiced the character in animated productions.
Wednesday Addams’ showrunners might’ve nearly sabotaged goodwill for their own project by calling the show an “eight-hour Tim Burton movie”—a tired kind of obfuscation that, in the year of our lord 2022, sounds more exhausting than novel—but this teaser should restore fans’ faith.
If nothing else, Wednesday looks to be the perfect kind of fall release—a little campy, a little creepy, and exquisitely wicked in its sensibilities. At this point, the only lingering question is what on Earth might be going on with Uncle Fester in this series, which has kept the character out of all its promotional materials apart from this ominous quote from showrunner Alfred Gough: “We have no comment on Uncle Fester.”
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