Netflix’s upcoming series Wednesday has always seemed just out of reach, but every announcement has been met with excitement. Fans celebrated when it was announced horror legend Tim Burton would be directing and executive producing the series, they celebrated when Scream and X actress Jenna Ortega nabbed the eponymous role, and celebrated even more when powerhouse actors Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán were cast as Wednesday’s parents Morticia and Gomez.
Tonight at New York Comic-Con, the trailer was finally released teasing a show that’s more than just Wednesday’s deadpan quips — it looks to be a full-fledged mystery. Here’s what the show’s stars have to say about it, and a look at that much-awaited trailer.
The heart and soul of Wednesday is, of course, Wednesday herself. She’s such an adored character, seen every Halloween. Star Jenna Ortega was acutely aware of that pressure. “Wednesday Addams is a legend” Ortega tells Inverse. “I think she’s one of the coolest people on the planet, or whatever universe she’s from.”
The character’s legacy is evident even in the trailer. While Jenna Ortega brings the morbid demeanor of Wednesday, in the last moments we see just the opposite from Marilyn Thornhill, played by Christina Ricci. Ricci, who recently sparked a new fascination as Misty in Yellowjackets, brought 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 incredible actress,” Ortega said. “I don’t think Wednesday’s impact would be half as much if not for the work she did as a child, and that’s an incredible feat.” But Ricci was not the only familiar face in the trailer. Fred Armisen was announced as Uncle Fester at the panel, and Game of Thrones alum Gwendoline Christie plays the intimidating Principal Larissa Weems. “Larissa Weems is the principal of the Nevermore Academy, where Wednesday is enrolled, where Morticia and Gomez also attended.” Christie tells Inverse. “I really relish the opportunity to create a new character, with Tim, who was hugely collaborative.”
Then, there’s Luis Guzmán as Gomez, who broke the mold of what people imagine when the think of the debonair patriarch. Guzman still fits the bill perfectly, and though his appearance in the trailer is brief, it’s clear he understands what makes Gomez tick. “If I could sum up Gomez in two words, it’s love and passion,” he tells Inverse.
His approach to Gomez is built equally on a sense of legacy and a sense of originality. “I used to run home from school to watch The Addams Family.” he said. “And then the movies, with Raul Julia... You never want to duplicate. You know it, you’ve seen it, now let’s just... live it.”
But beyond the cameos and guest stars, what really is Wednesday about? The official synopsis paints a revolutionary picture. Netflix describes the series as “A sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore Academy.” It looks like Wednesday is going to add to the always-delightful genre of “teen girl solves a mystery,” albeit with a decidedly not delightful protagonist.
What’s more, Wednesday will develop a psychic ability and “thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorized the local town, and solve the supernatural mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago.” In other words — you should probably be prepared for flashbacks to 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 teen drama, it’s high school drama, it’s horror, it’s gothic, and it’s Tim Burton.”
In case it wasn’t clear by the new cast and Tim Burton’s involvement, this series isn’t just going to be a nostalgia fest of the Addams Families of yore. It may be the same family, but it’s an entirely new generation.
Wednesday premieres November 23, 2022 on Netflix.