The Addams Family spinoff "Wednesday", that will soon be hitting Netflix, has found the parents of the eponymous protagonist of the show.
Veteran actors Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán will be filling the roles of the matriarch and patriarch of the classic macabre and oddball Addams Family.
Addams Family origins
The Addams Family is the brainchild of Charles Addams, created in 1938. It started off as a regular feature in The New Yorker, which is a long-running American weekly magazine. Cartoonist Charles Addams usually presented them as one-panel gags in the magazine.
Often, it would be via a satirical look at modern Americana (of the time), with the odd, almost horror-like interests of the Addams Family as a metaphor for such.
The members of the Addams Family were Gomez and Morticia, their children Wednesday and Pugsley, Gomez’s brother Uncle Fester, Grandmama (originally named Granny Frump), and the family’s attendants, the towering Lurch and the sentient hand, Thing. The family is independently wealthy, living in an age-old mansion that looks like a haunted house.
The basic premise of the Addams Family is that they are unusual, with morbid sense of humor and have interests that are inspired by gothic and horror tropes, such as dungeons, trap doors, alchemy, the undead, supernatural elements, and many more. But the members of the family do not find their peculiar lifestyle to be out of the ordinary. In fact, the family members are more or less well-adjusted and good-natured.
At the head of the Addams Family table are husband and wife Gomez and Morticia. Gomez handles the finances of the family, but he has a boundless energy and can be a buffoon. Often, Gomez is depicted as an eccentric that gets into trouble by making unwise business or investment decisions. His haphazard choices are often fueled by curiosity.
Meanwhile, Morticia is the actual figurehead of the family, who takes care of the day-to-day. Morticia is shown to be the only thing that can sway Gomez to behave and rethink his choices. The Addams family matriarch is also the role model that the couple’s daughter, Wednesday Addams, emulates.
The Addams Family became very popular and eventually spun off to other media. The first of these is the ABC TV network show called, appropriately, The Addams Family. The show ran from 1964 to 1968. The roles of Morticia and Gomez for the show were played by Carolyn Jones and John Astin, respectively. The show became quite popular, running for 2 seasons for a total of 64 episodes. After the live-action series ended, an animated series ran for a short 16-episode season in 1973.
Perhaps the most famous modern adaptation of the Addams Family is from the two feature films in 1991 and 1993. Here, the roles of Morticia and Gomez were played by Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia. The portrayals of the two veteran thespians have become iconic, with fans noting the romantic chemistry and comedic timing the pair brought to the roles. Wednesday in these films was portrayed by the young Cristina Ricci.
A third film in 1998 is technically part of this film series, but had been completely recast (due to the untimely passing of Raul Julia). After that, there was The New Addams Family show ran from 1998 to 2001 with a single season of 65 episodes. This series was the last official live-action depiction of the Addams Family, with only animated entries at various points since then,
Netflix and Tim Burton
Netflix is developing a spinoff of the Addams Family with Wednesday, which centers on the titular daughter headlining the eight-episode series. Moreover, the series will be directed by the master of quirkiness himself, Tim Burton. Burton is renowned for films that are highly stylistic and with elements of the gothic and macabre such as Batman, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and many others.
Based on the early details released, it will focus on Wednesday developing new supernatural abilities after her time in Nevermore Academy, a sort of macabre version of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School for wizards. It will be a decidedly more serious take, with Wednesday undertaking certain investigative efforts to discover the source of malevolent magic and events in the area of the school.
Earlier in May 2021, it was announced that Jenna Ortega (The Babysitter: Killer Queen) has been cast in the role of Wednesday. The young actress showed her enthusiasm for the role, sharing the news and pictures on her Instagram account.
Recently, casting for the roles of Morticia and Gomez has surfaced. Netflix shared the news on the streaming service's official Twitter account about the castings for both Morticia and Gomez Addams:
Our Addams family is expanding!
Catherine Zeta-Jones will step into the iconic silhouette of Morticia Addams while Luis Guzmán will bring to life the debonair Gomez Addams in the upcoming TV series Wednesday, starring Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams and directed by Tim Burton. pic.twitter.com/MiofyWIbwy
— Netflix (@netflix) August 9, 2021
Luis Guzmán (Narcos) is a longtime character actor, often playing supporting roles on TV and film.
Meanwhile, Catherine Zeta-Jones (The Mask of Zorro, Chicago) will fill the role of Morticia Addams. Zeta-Jones has been mostly inactive since early 2000s during the peak of her career, choosing a private life, but she has recently appeared in Fox’s Prodigal Son in a recurring role as Dr. Vivian Capshaw. The Academy Award-winning actress being brought in as Morticia Addams has created a lot of buzz after a lull in information about the Netflix series since Ortega’s casting.
Developed by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville), there is no projected released date yet for the Wednesday series on Netflix.