Wednesday Finally Revealed Who's Playing Uncle Fester In A Suspenseful Teaser
The new Addams Family is finally complete.
Ready for something really neat? Your favorite sarcastic and spooky Addams family member is getting her own live-action, coming-of-age comedy. Netflix’s Wednesday is an Addams Family spinoff starring Jenna Ortega and directed by Tim Burton, which means it’s sure to be an instant (and probably twisted) hit.
The Addams Family has been an enduring part of American culture since the Charles Addams cartoons started running nearly a century ago in the mid-1930s. Originally meant as a satire on aristocratic life in the New York area in the post-Depression years, the series became infused with horror tropes when it moved to TV in the mid-1960s when critics routinely compared it to The Munsters. Since then, the beloved gothic family has been adapted in various formats, including a series of cult-classic films in the 1990s.
While Burton is the king of twisted tales, the YA series will mark his TV directorial debut and his first live-action show. Additionally, this is the first time Wednesday has gotten her own project, which is a pretty big deal considering the Addams family has graced the big and small screen time and time again.
But now it’s Wednesday’s turn to shine solo. Here’s what her fans need to know:
On Aug. 17, a Wednesday (natch), Netflix dropped the first teaser for Wednesday.
The teaser gives fans their first real look at Wednesday Addams, who has grown up somewhat from the dour little girl character from the 1990s films. As a teenager, she’s more independent, rebellious, and currently going through schools the same way piranhas go through flesh.
Netflix released another trailer during New York Comic-Con on Oct. 8, revealing two key roles in the new series. The clip teased Christina Ricci’s part as Ms. Thornhill, a teacher at Wednesday’s new school Nevermore Academy, and it also unveiled the final member of the Addams family: Fred Armisen is playing Uncle Fester in the show.
On May 19, 2021, You star Jenna Ortega took to Instagram to announce she will play Wednesday Addams in Wednesday. Fans got their first look at her as the character a year later, on June 6, 2022. Notably, Ortega didn’t comment on her tweet or the photo on Insta — very Wednesday of her.
As for the rest of the cast, Luis Guzmán, known for such films as Boogie Nights and the Netflix series Narcos, will play Gomez Addams. Academy Award-winner Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago) plays the role of his iconic wife and Wednesday’s mother, Morticia. Issac Ordonez (A Wrinkle in Time) will play Wednesday’s brother, Pugsley Addams, and former Saturday Night Live star Fred Armisen is playing Uncle Fester.
George Burcea (Comrade Detective) has been cast as Lurch, and newcomer Victor Dorobantu is the famous expressive hand known as “Thing.”
Ortega is joining a long history of influential women who have portrayed Wednesday. However, none is more famous than the Queen of Sass, who originated the role of Wednesday on the big screen, Christina Ricci, in The Addams Family and Addams Family Values. Her turn in The Addams Family launched Ricci’s career, so it wasn’t the biggest surprise to learn Netflix had offered her a role in the series. In March 2022, Deadline reported Ricci had signed on to be in the cast, and months later, she was confirmed to be playing the new character Ms. Thornhill.
Her casting came amid a casting shuffle during filming that saw cast member Thora Birch exit the series for personal reasons. According to Deadline, Birch mainly had finished filming her role as Tamara Novak, described as “Wednesday’s dorm mother and the only ‘Normie’ on staff at Nevermore Academy,” so Ricci’s role is probably not a replacement but a second character created to solve whatever plotline issues were left in the wake of Birch’s exit.
And Deadline revealed Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie also landed a lead role as Larissa Weems, the principal of Nevermore Academy, where Wednesday attends, and who “still has an ax to grind with her former classmate Morticia Addams.” Along with her casting, Deadline revealed a slew of co-stars, including Tommie Earl Jenkins (Lupin), William Houston (The Last Duel), Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo (Devs), Calum Ross (Loki), and newcomers Johnna Dias Watson, Iman Marson, and Oliver Watson.
Other co-stars who were announced as the series commenced filming in the fall of 2021: Riki Lindhome (Knives Out), Jamie McShane (Bloodline), Hunter Doohan (Truth Be Told), Georgie Farmer (The Evermoor Chronicles), Moosa Mostafa (The Last Bus), Emma Myers (Girl in the Basement), Naomi J. Ogawa (Skylin3s), Joy Sunday (Dear White People), and Percy Hynes White (The Gifted).
Here’s the official synopsis for the series:
The series is a sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore Academy, where she attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorized the local town, and solve the murder mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago — all while navigating her new and very tangled relationships at Nevermore.
On Tuesday, Aug. 16, an article in Vanity Fair gave fans the first deep dive behind the scenes, including more plot details about the series of murders surrounding Wednesday.
Wednesday Filming Updates
Filming for Wednesday commenced in September 2021. The series was initially expected to finish in February 2022, but Birch’s exit upended that, and filming was extended to the end of March.
As is becoming standard for prestige TV series, all eight episodes were directed by the same person, in this case, Tim Burton, with Smallville’s team of Alfred Gough and Miles Millar as showrunners. In December 2021, Deadline announced that one of Burton’s longtime collaborators, Danny Elfman, who worked with him on Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas, would write an original theme song for Wednesday and the series’ musical score.
Wednesday Release Date
Netflix unveiled Wednesday’s release date on Sept. 24 at the end of a quick little sneak peek at Wednesday threatening Thing when she discovers the autonomous hand spying on her at school. All eight episode of Wednesday will drop on Netflix on Nov. 23.
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