Netflix’s new Addams Family series, “Wednesday,” starring Jenna Ortega, is almost here. On Sept. 23, the streamer finally announced that the series is coming in November, just in time for a Thanksgiving marathon watch. On Oct. 8, Netflix unveiled the official trailer for the show at New York Comic Con (NYCC), where POPSUGAR was on hand, and it featured first glimpses at Fred Armisen as Uncle Fester and a much-anticipated first look at former Wednesday Addams Christina Ricci in her brand-new, hush-hush role.
In a video Netflix released on Oct. 19, director Tim Burton opens up about his relationship to the series. “The Addams Family is very symbolic of how I feel about families,” he says in the video. “I mean, I think all families are strange. I particularly love Wednesday because she shares my worldview on things, and that was fun to explore.”
Ortega also reflects on Burton in the video, saying she’s a longtime fan. “I used to have consistent dreams about ‘Beetlejuice’ when I was younger,” she said, adding that Burton was definitely perfect for the job. “Goth comes to him very naturally,” she said.
Back on Aug. 24, Ortega reflected on playing the iconic character in another video shared by Netflix. In it, she shares that while she thinks she’s already pretty similar to Wednesday, she also spent two days a week learning to fence and two days a week playing cello to prepare for the role. The show’s creative team also reflect on bringing to life an older Wednesday in a coming-of-age tale.
The ’90s Wednesday Addams, Ricci, revealed to Variety earlier this year that it’s been a pleasure to watch Ortega step into the role on the set of “Wednesday.” “Jenna is incredible,” Ricci said. “I saw some of the wardrobe photos before I went [to set] so I knew [what she looked like in character] and I was like, it’s such a great modern take on Wednesday. It’s so true tonally to the heart and soul of [the original], but then it’s incredibly modern and it’s great.”
Although she’s no longer playing Wednesday, Ricci will appear in Netflix’s upcoming series, and the star told Variety she’s loved stepping back into the gothic world of the Addams Family. “It’s super fun,” the “Yellowjackets” star told the publication. “I loved working with Tim [Burton]. I worked with [Gwendoline] Christie, it was amazing.”
Ortega also opened up about working on the project and collaborating with Burton in January. She told The Hollywood Reporter: “It’s been quite an insane experience. I’ve been lucky enough to get the opportunity to work with an iconic director who just so happens to be one of the sweetest directors I’ve worked with, and also the most detail-oriented. To step into the shoes of somebody who’s a bit more eccentric and frightening has been really exciting for me, and definitely a challenge — especially with such a beloved character, I really want to take care of her and do her justice.”
Ortega also discussed the pressure of playing a character who’s already so beloved. “The thing is, there are several different paths that anyone could have taken for this character,” she explained. “We’ve never seen Wednesday Addams as a teenage girl, so some of her harsh mannerisms may come off as hilarious when she’s younger, but as you get older, how much of that can you get away with? Or how do you keep that at the forefront of her personality without people growing to dislike her or find her annoying? So just trying to balance that . . . I’ve never felt so much pressure on a job, and I’m trying to keep my cool.”
The actor teased how different she looks as Wednesday compared to her usual self, saying: “I think it’s probably the most physical transformation I’ve ever done; I cut my hair, and it’s black, and mannerism-wise, speaking cadence-wise, expression-wise, I’m trying to pull from a different toolbox this time around. I think it’s a surprise to the audience, but myself as well.”
Read on for everything we know about “Wednesday,” including the cast, trailer, first-look photos, and release date.
— Additional reporting by Sabienna Bowman