Netflix’s next series Wednesday has always seemed out of reach, but each announcement has been met with excitement. Fans cheered when it was announced that horror legend Tim Burton would direct and executive produce the series, cheered when Scream Y X Actress Jenna Ortega landed the eponymous role and celebrated even more when powerhouse actors Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzman were cast as Wednesday’s parents, Morticia and Gomez.
Tonight at New York Comic-Con, the trailer was finally released showcasing a show that’s more than Wednesday’s deadpan banter – it appears to be a full-fledged mystery. Here’s what the stars of the show have to say about it, and a look at the long-awaited trailer.
The heart and soul of Wednesday is, of course, Wednesday herself. She is such an adored character, seen every Halloween. Star Jenna Ortega was well aware of that pressure. “Wednesday Addams is a legend” says Ortega Reverse. “I think she’s one of the coolest people on the planet, or in the universe of whatever.”
The character’s legacy is evident even in the trailer. While Jenna Ortega brings the morbid Wednesday, in the last moments we see the complete opposite of Marilyn Thornhill, played by Christina Ricci. Ricci, who recently sparked a new fascination as Misty in yellow jacketsbrought Wednesday to life in the 90s addams family film series
“I’ve been a fan of her work for a long time, I think she’s an amazing actress,” Ortega said. “I don’t think Wednesday’s impact would be even half as great if it wasn’t for the work that she did as a child, and that’s an incredible feat.” But Ricci wasn’t the only familiar face in the trailer. Fred Armisen was announced as Uncle Fester on panel, and game of Thrones Schoolgirl Gwendoline Christie plays the intimidating principal Larissa Weems. “Larissa Weems is the principal of Nevermore Academy, where Wednesday is enrolled, where Morticia and Gomez also attended.” christie says Reverse. “I really enjoy the opportunity to create a new character, with Tim, who was a great collaboration.”
Then there’s Luis Guzmán as Gómez, who broke the mold of what people imagine when they think of the suave patriarch. Guzman still fits the bill, and though his appearance in the trailer is brief, it’s clear he understands what drives Gomez. “If I could sum up Gomez in two words, it’s love and passion,” he says. Reverse.
His approach to Gómez is based equally on a sense of legacy and a sense of originality. “I used to run home from school to see the addams family.” he said. “And then the cinema, with Raúl Julia… You never want to duplicate. You know it, you’ve seen it, now we’re going to… live it”.
But beyond the cameos and guest stars, what really is Wednesday on? The official synopsis paints a revolutionary picture. Netflix describes the series as “A supernaturally infused detective mystery tracing Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore Academy.” It looks like Wednesday will add to the always delightful “teenage girl solves a mystery” genre, albeit with a decidedly uncharming lead.
What’s more, Wednesday will develop psychic ability and “thwart a monstrous murder spree that has terrorized the local town, and solve the supernatural mystery that engulfed his parents 25 years ago.” In other words, you should probably be prepared for flashbacks of a young Gomez and Morticia from their school days.
“There’s a mystery, it’s a teen high school show, it’s a comedy, and of course there’s horror in there,” says showrunner Al Gough. Gough and Miles Millar serve as co-showrunners and writers for the season, a daunting prospect considering how much fans are looking forward to this series. “It’s a family drama, it’s a teen drama, it’s a high school drama, it’s horror, it’s goth, and it’s Tim Burton.”
In case it wasn’t made clear by the new cast and Tim Burton’s involvement, this series isn’t just going to be a nostalgia fest for the Addams Families of yesteryear. It may be the same family, but it’s a whole new generation.
Wednesday premieres November 23, 2022 on Netflix.