'Wednesday': Tim Burton Directing Live-Action 'Addams Family' Series About Wednesday Addams Solving Spooky Mysteries

Tim Burton will make his TV debut with Wednesday, a live-action Netflix series featuring everyone’s favorite goth child misanthrope, Wednesday Addams. The show will feature an adolescent Wednesday who has psychic abilities and is tasked with solving spooky mysteries, which, honestly, sounds absolutely nothing like the Wednesday Addams we’re all familiar with. But you know how it goes – Tim Burton is gonna Tim Burton.

Ready for a live-action Addams Family series from Tim Burton? It’s on the way, but it’s not going to be a traditional Addams Family adaptation. Instead, the show is focused primarily on Wednesday Addams, played so perfectly by Christina Ricci in Barry Sonnenfeld’s live-action Addams Family films. Several other performers have played the character over time as well, including Lisa Loring, who originated the role on The Addams Family TV series, and Chloë Grace Moretz, who voiced the character in the animated 2019 film.

Burton tackling The Addams Family is about as obvious a choice as you can expect, but to be fair, Wednesday is going to have a few twists. Here’s a synopsis:

The upcoming eight-episode series is a sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery charting Wednesday’s years as a student at the peculiar Nevermore Academy. Wednesday’s attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorized the local town, and solve the supernatural mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago – all while navigating her new and very tangled relationships of the strange and diverse student body.

Wednesday Addams is a psychic now? And she solves mysteries? And also tries to stop a monstrous killing spree? Perhaps I’m being too harsh, but that doesn’t feel true to the character at all. If anything, she’d sit back and let the monstrous killing spree unfold unchecked while firing off a droll comment or two. This sounds more like a series inspired by A Series of Unfortunate Events instead of The Addams Family. The pitch for the series came from Al Gough and Miles Millar, who also developed Smallville. They’ll also serve as the showrunners here, with Burton directing all eight episodes. Word of the series first broke late last year, with reports stating that the series would “be set in present times and be from the perspective of Wednesday Addams and what the world would look like to her in 2020.”

When I was a young, gothy child, I was obsessed with Burton’s work. His weird, melancholy, stylish films about outcasts and freaks really spoke to me, and for a while there, I was ready to follow him anywhere. However, after a while, Burton became a kind of parody of himself. I think the last movie he made that I genuinely enjoyed was Big Fish, and that was 18 years ago. I’d like to give Wednesday the benefit of the doubt, but this entire premise seems wrong to me. Imagine Burton making something about an adult Wednesday Addams instead – and imagine if he brought back Christina Ricci to play the part? Wouldn’t that be more interesting than “tween Wednesday solves spooky mysteries”? Or am I just being a grumpy old man here?

Wednesday doesn’t have a premiere date yet, but I imagine we’ll learn that soon, along with casting. In the meantime, here’s a teaser poster.

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