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Wednesday is the 2022 Netflix adaptation of The Addams Family focusing solely on the daughter Wednesday Addams. The coming of age supernatural comedy horror series has been making headlines since its release on the 23rd November 2022 (an actual Wednesday). Executive producer Tim Burton directs four out of the eight episodes and it stars Jenna Ortega as the title character with supporting cast including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luis Guzmán, Gwendoline Christie and Christina Ricci.
If you are yet to watch the Netflix version of The Addams Family and discover this new iteration, the plot centres around Wednesday who is expelled from her high school after retaliating to bullies fighting with her brother Pugsley. Her parents Gomez and Morticia Addams enrol her in Nevermore Academy in Jericho, Vermont which is a school for outcasts and monsters of society. Her emotionless personality does not initially connect with her school mates but she soon immerses herself fully into the culture of Nevermore by helping solve a murder mystery case.
Jenna Ortega plays both Wednesday Addams and Goody Addams, Wednesday’s ancestor from the past.
If you’re a huge fan of Wednesday, you may still be surprised by some of these facts…
1. Tim Burton Had Been Associated With 2 Previous Addams Family Iterations
Tim Burton has been associated previously with two other Addams Family projects, the film in 1991 which he ended up passing on and a stop motion animation film which was cancelled. It was first announced in October 2020 that he would be helming a new television series based on the family instead.
Tim Burton was assigned to direct the 1991 film named The Addams Family which famously starred Christina Ricci in the role of Wednesday and Anjelica Huston as Morticia. However he passed on it due to scheduling conflicts with Batman returns.
2. Tim Burton Accepted The Offer Immediately
Wednesday showrunners Miles Millar and Alfred Gough started to develop this new story idea in 2019, acquired the Intellectual property rights and sent the pilot script over to Tim Burton. Burton immediately became interested in the project after reading the script.
3. Tim Burton Claims He Understands Wednesday’s Worldview In This Series
In an interview with Empire Magazine, Tim Burton suggested that he could relate to Wednesday's worldview in this new script saying that it spoke to him about how he felt in school and about his parents. He was interested in seeing The Addams Family in a new kind of reality.
4. It Was Important For The Producers To Introduce “Outcasts” And “Normies”
The producers of Netflix Wednesday did not want to emulate the prior films and the 1964 TV series so instead they decided to juxtapose outsiders and normal people as well as criticising colonial Americans.
5. Wednesday Is Tim Burton’s First Foray Into Television
The series Wednesday was initially announced under the name of “unnamed Addams Family project being helmed by Burton” in October 2020. Its production was to be led by MGM television with Gough and Millar as showrunners. In February 2021 Netflix gave the green light to produce a series consisting of eight episodes. Tim Burton claims that Wednesday is his first real foray into television.
6. The Team Wanted Wednesday To Reflect Gomez’s Heritage
According to CNN, the production team decided to cast a Latina to play the role of Wednesday Addams in order to follow Gomez Addams’ heritage, something that was already being worked on into the series. It was announced in May 2021 that Jenna Ortega, who is of both Mexican and Puerto Rican descent, was joining the cast in the lead role.
7. Jenna Ortega Was Initially Hesitant To Take Up The Role
In an article in the New York Times, the producers knew upon the first zoom call together that no one else was better suited to portrait Wednesday. Jenna Ortega was hesitant initially due to her past work being on Disney channel shows.
8. Emma Myers Originally Auditioned For Wednesday
Emma Myers originally auditioned for the role of Wednesday Addams before she was given Wednesdays werewolf roommate Enid.
9. Christina Ricci Was Almost Unable To Accept Her Role
It was announced in March 2022 that Christina Ricci, who played Wednesday Addams in the 1991 film and its sequel in 1993, would be a series regular. The announcement of this role meant that Thora Birch, who had been cast a year earlier, would be dropped from the production. Ricci was almost unable to accept the role due to scheduling conflicts with Yellowjackets.
10. Wednesday Was Filmed In Romania
Filming for Wednesday took place between September 2021 and March 2022 predominantly in the southern Carpathian town of Busteni, Romania. The setting for the fictional Nevermore Academy was Cantacuzino Castle. The locations used were the Politehnica University of Bucharest, the Bucharest Botanical Garden, and the Olga Greceanu Mansion in Dambovita County.
Other settings including the entire town of Jericho were recreated at Bucharest Film Studios in Romania.
11. Jenna Ortega Found Working On Wednesday Very Overwhelming
According to Deadline Hollywood Jenna Ortega found that working on Wednesday was very stressful and confusing. She said that it was the most overwhelming job she had ever had due to the production's fast tracked shooting schedule.
12. Ortega Refrained From Asking Ricci About Her Interpretation Of Wednesday
During the shooting of Wednesday, Jenna Ortega avoided talking to Christina Ricci about playing the character previously in order to achieve her own unique portrayal of the role.
13. Jenna Ortega Choreographed The Dance Scene Just 2 Days Before Shooting
Jenna Ortega choreographed the unforgettable dance scene to the song Goo Goo Muck by The Cramps herself and didn’t sleep for two days straight as she claims in interviews she had forgotten to choreograph it before the deadline. She was inspired by Goth dance club footage from the 1980s and took inspiration from Siouxsie Sioux and Bob Fosse.
14. Wednesday’s Dance Has Found TikTok Fame But With An Unrelated Song
The iconic dance scene on Wednesday has spiked in popularity across social media including TikTok where users are re-creating Wednesday's dance. Interestingly social media users have paired Wednesdays dance to a completely unrelated song and sped up version released by Lady Gaga in 2011 called Bloody Mary.
Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Amelia Dimoldenberg have joined in the trend.
According to billboard the OnDemand streams for The Cramps song originally used in the scene have increased from 2000 500 to 134,000 after the show's release.
15. Jenna Ortega Had Covid During The Dance Scene
The production team have been criticised by audiences after it was discussed in interviews that Jenna Ortega performed the dance scene while having Covid. She was experiencing symptoms of the illness but waiting on a test result to be confirmed. Critics have slammed the production for bad practice and putting both Jenna’s and the Crew’s health in jeopardy.
16. Jenna Ortega Learned A Huge Range Of New Skills To Become Wednesday
The role of Wednesday was very physically demanding as Jenna Ortega had to learn to play the cello and took canoeing, fencing, archery, and German lessons!
In an interview with teen Vogue, actor Joy Sunday who plays Bianca Barclay, stated that the canoeing lessons involve the entire cast, a team of stunt people racing each other for an hour daily and days starting as early as 5:30AM.
17. Danny Elfman Composed The Theme For Wednesday
Tim Burton‘s longtime collaborator Danny Elfman composed the original series theme for Wednesday and co-composed the score with Chris Bacon. Viewers may recognise some of the pop songs converted into Cello renditions such as Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones and Nothing Else Matters by Metallica. A Cello version of Physical by Dua Lipa is also used.
The score includes many classical works including The Four Seasons by Vivaldi and Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
18. A 48 Track Soundtrack Was Released
A 48 track soundtrack was released by Lakeshore records on the 23rd of November 2022 and a four track extended play featuring covers of classical and pop songs was released on the 30th of November. The soundtrack has been highly praised by the critics.
19. Thing Roamed New York City To Publicise Wednesday
Wednesday premiered on the 16th of November 2022 at Hollywood Legion Theatre in Los Angeles. Netflix released a promotional video to its Twitter account depicting Thing roaming the streets of New York City startling passers by.
20. Wednesday Has Shot To The Top Of Netflix’s Charts
On the 6th of December 2022, Wednesday became the third most watched English-language Netflix series in the history of the platform. Wednesday has the second most pre-release followers of any Netflix original series only behind The Witcher and it debuted at number one on Netflix in 83 countries.
The series also holds the record for most hours of use in one week for an English language Netflix series as 341.2 million hours were watched in its first week. This amounts to more than 50 million households and it passed the previous record holder of Stranger Things 4 and its 335.01 million hours viewed.
21. Wednesday Showrunners Already Know Where They Want To Go With Season 2
After the release of the first season on Wednesday, the showrunners have said in interviews that they have a pretty clear idea of how future seasons could unfold. Judging by the reaction to the first series, we can expect to see much more of Jenna Ortega’s Wednesday Addams in the future.
22. This Portrayal Of Gomez Addams Has Come Under Fire
While a lovable character, many horror fans have commented on this portrayal of Gomez Addams stating that in previous iterations of The Addams Family, including the 1991 film, he has been more suave. Raul Julia plays Gomez Addams in the 1991 film and, despite not being traditionally handsome in the role, he has undeniable sexual chemistry with Morticia. Luis Guzmán in Wednesday works well with Catherine Zeta-Jones but the pair have been criticised for not having the same lustful compatibility.
23. Jenna Ortega Tried To Blink As Little As Possible
Jenna Ortega has said in interviews that Tim Burton does not like it when she blinks while playing Wednesday. So for many of the scenes, Ortega keeps her eyes firmly open desperately trying not to blink in an almost Kubrick-like stare. She did say in interviews that this got quite annoying, as they would have to restart takes because she would start crying due to the bracing Romanian winter and the wind drying out her eyes. She went on to say that she learnt to blink on other peoples lines.
24. There Is A Reason The Cafe Is Called The Weathervane
The Weathervane Coffee Shop shares its name with the school magazine from Westfield High School where Charles Addams, the creator of The Addams Family, first started working as an art editor and published cartoons.
25. Did You Notice The Finger Clicks?
The code to enter the secret Nightshades society is in homage to the double finger click used in the original Addams Family theme song.
26. Ophelia Is The Name Of Morticia’s Sister
Wednesday goes to live in Ophelia Hall at The Nevermore Academy. Interestingly, Ophelia was the name of Morticia's sister on the original TV programme, The Addams Family.
27. There Is A Horror Significance To Bergamot
Wednesday says that she can smell Bergamot hand cream on Thing which is also the same fragrance coveted by Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs.
28. Goody Isn’t Really A Pilgrim Name
While Jenna Ortega plays her ancestor Goody Addams, in Puritan Society the name Goody was actually a title for an adult woman of a lower class. Goodman would be the male equivalent.
29. This Is The Oldest Portrayal Of Morticia And Gomez
Luis Guzmán is the oldest actor to play Gomez Addams on screen. At the time the first series of Wednesday was released he was 66 years old. Likewise Catherine Zeta-Jones is the oldest actor to play Morticia in the live action version at the age of 53.
30. Nevermore Academy Is Named After Edgar Allan Poe
The name Nevermore Academy is named after Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Raven where the bird continuously quotes Nevermore.
31. There Is A New Jersey Connection To This Version Of The Addams Family
In the first episode of Wednesday, the licence plate seen on The Addams Family car is registered in New Jersey which is the birthplace of The Addams Family creator Charles Addams. The Addams Family limo was built specifically for Wednesday.
32. Opening Titles Only Feature In The First And Last Episode
Only the first and last episodes of Wednesday in the first season feature full opening credits. All of the episodes simply feature a title with the episode name on. This could be due to the fact that Netflix usually has the option to skip the intro.
33. “Woe” Appears In Every Episode Title
The title in every episode of season one includes the word Woe. Morticia explains that she named Wednesday after the line “Wednesday's child is full of woe“.
34. Wednesday Is Christina Ricci’s Second Time Collaborating With Tim Burton
This adaptation of Wednesday is Christina Ricci’s second time collaborating with Tim Burton after she worked with him on the film Sleepy Hollow in 1999.
35. Jenna Ortega May Have Had A Wednesday Side When She Was Younger
Jenna Ortega may be the perfect person to play Wednesday Addams as she admitted in an interview withTeen Vogue that she would perform autopsies on dead animals as a child in her back garden.
36. There Is A Reason For The Giant Bear In Principal Weems’ Office
Eagle eyed view as of Wednesday may have noticed that in Principal Weem’s office there is a large taxidermy bear. This could be a call back to the fact that in the original TV series of The Addams Family, a giant stuffed bear would be in the hallway and would often startle visitors.
37. Wednesday Is Danny Elfman’s 16th Comic Feature
Wednesday is composer Danny Elfman’s 16th comic book feature that he has worked on. These include working with Tim Burton on the film Batman and Batman Returns as well as the Men In Black trilogy and Spider-Man.
38. We Love The German Name For Thing
In the German version of Wednesday, Thing is called eiskaltes Händchen Meaning “ice cold little hand“.
39. Ortega Stopped Being Vegan After Wednesday
Jenna Ortega told Teen Vogue in an interview that she had been vegan up until she started filming Wednesday in Romania.
40. Wednesday Was Mentioned In Stuck In The Middle
In the pilot episode of Jenna Ortega’s show Stuck In The Middle in 2016, her character Harley actually complains about being the Wednesday Addams of her family.
41. Wednesday Uses A German Typewriter
The typewriter that Wednesday uses has a QWERTZ German layout rather than a UK/USA QWERTY keyboard layout.
42. Wednesday Has A Bebe Neuwirth Connection
Wednesday marks the second time that Catherine Zeta-Jones has played a character that actor Bebe Neuwirth has played on Broadway first. Bebe Neuwirth played Velma Kelly in Chicago in 1996 on Broadway and Catherine Zeta-Jones played the same character in the film adaptation in 2002. Bebe Neuwirth played Morticia Addams in the 2010 musical version of The Addams Family.
43. Principal Larissa Weems Was Modelled On Tippi Hedren
Wednesday costume designer Colleen Atwood drew inspiration for Principal Larissa Weems‘ Costume from Alfred Hitchcock collaborations with Tippi Hedren. Using a vintage poster from The Birds as reference, Atwood showed Gwendoline Christie her vision and the pair decided to make her look like her own kind of misfit but in a totally different way.
44. Most Of Wednesday’s Costume Is Designer
For Wednesday's costume, Colleen Atwood put together a wardrobe of kooky and mysterious items with a nod to the original pointed collar and printed dress while modernising her outfit with platform shoes. She wanted her to totally contrast the American public school we’re so used to seeing on TV and film. Many social media users have been interested in finding out where they can buy outfits and items seen worn by Wednesday. Many of the items are high fashion, designer items which may not be audible in real life for people of Wednesday's age.
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