Tim Burton (Big Fish, Dumbo) will direct the first live-action television series of his career for the international streaming giant Netflix, a spin-off of the hit 1960’s sitcom The Addams Family titled Wednesday, as reported by SyFy Wire. The official Netflix Twitter account posted the key art from the series on February 17 to accompany the announcement regarding Burton’s commitment to the project.
Tim Burton is bringing Wednesday Addams to Netflix in a live-action coming-of-age series!
Burton will also make his TV directorial debut on the sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery that follows Wednesday as a student at Nevermore Academy pic.twitter.com/8ei3wIUrxq
— Netflix (@netflix) February 17, 2021
Wednesday gets its title from its main character, the lovable and sadistic daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams. The upcoming series reportedly operates in an entirely different tonal register than the broadly humorous ABC family sitcom of yesteryear: “The upcoming eight-episode series is a… supernaturally infused mystery charting Wednesday’s years as a student at the peculiar Nevermore Academy. Wednesday 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 twenty-five years ago– all while navigating… the strange and diverse student body,” via SyFy Wire. The showrunners for the project are Smallville creators and longtime collaborators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (The Shannara Chronicles, Shanghai Noon), according to Bloody Disgusting.
While the new iteration of the titular character has not yet been cast, younger fans of the Addams Family franchise are probably most familiar with the character as portrayed by Christina Ricci (Yellowjackets, The Opposite of Sex) in a pair of live-action feature films based on the property released in the early 1990’s. Ricci would go on to collaborate with Burton on his 1999 supernatural whodunit Sleepy Hollow.
Burton has historically steered clear of the small screen. Other than some gun-for-hire work in the 1980’s helming episodes of the anthology programs Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Faerie Tale Theatre, the CalArts alum’s only television efforts have been an animated children’s series based on his 1988 horror comedy film Beetlejuice and the ill-fated CBS animated seres Family Dog, although his duties were allegedly more akin to those of a production designer on the latter show, as reported by Salon.
The Addams Family too has been estranged from television in recent decades. To date, it has been over twenty years since the original creations of Charles Addams (Murder by Death) made their last TV appearance to date via The New Addams Family, which aired on the Fox Family Channel.
Pluto TV is currently streaming the much-beloved black-and-white sitcom incarnation of The Addams Family non-stop on Channel 511.