With Wednesday, which debuts this Wednesday on Netflix, creators Al Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville) bring their unique take on the beloved Gothic character.
The story follows the homicidal teen while enrolled at the peculiar Nevermore Academy, where she attempts to solve a supernatural mystery involving her parents and stop a monstrous killing spree wreaking havoc on the nearby town.
Jenna Ortega (Jane the Virgin, Scream) leads the eight-episode freshman season as Wednesday, serving up morbid one-liners with a perfectly deadpan delivery.
“She had an intensity, and she had an intelligence,” Gough tells TVLine of Ortega’s casting. “She felt like an old soul, which really is what Wednesday is. Her approach was really specific. She really worked on her posture, she really worked on the non-blinking, she really worked on how she was going to deliver the lines. She’s 95 percent of the show, and we’re shooting for eight months in Romania, so it’s a role you really inhabit, and I think she did that.”
The show features several familiar faces, including Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia; Luis Guzmán as Gomez; and Christina Ricci, who previously portrayed Wednesday in the 1991 film The Addams Family as well as its sequel Addams Family Values. In Wednesday, Ricci plays Marilyn Thornhill, an original character created for the show.
“We weren’t sure we could make it happen because Christina was shooting Yellowjackets and she was pregnant,” Gough shares. “We had to rejigger the schedule because she really wanted to do it. She worked with Tim [Burton] on Sleepy Hollow, and she loves Wednesday and really loved the idea of the project. It was really important to us that we honor the legacy of what’s happened before.”
Gough and Millar did a similar thing on the WB series Smallville, bringing in the seminal live-action Superman Christopher Reeve to appear opposite Tom Welling — who played a younger version of the character — in Season 2. “It’s a huge thing for viewers who know the originals to have that sense of nostalgia,” Gough notes, “and passing the torch to the next generation. It was really significant to us.”
Wednesday and Smallville might be considered completely different projects, but Millar noticed some parallels between them. “It’s similar in a way because you’re telling a chapter of a character’s life that’s never been told and you are trying to humanize a character who before that hadn’t really had that treatment,” he explains.
Superman was “always impenetrable, and he’s always like the Boy Scout. Nobody’s worried about Superman,” Millar adds. “I think Wednesday Addams is the same way. She was always the snarky little girl in the Addams Family who always had the zingers at the end of the scene. But nobody was ever worried about Wednesday. For us, it was: Who is this character? And more importantly, how do you tell the story about her? How do you have her be emotional, but you don’t want to betray Wednesday, either? Wednesday is very much who she is.”
In a recent interview, Christina Ricci said she’s “so much better than okay” after accusing ex-husband James Heerdegen of abuse last year, explaining to The Sunday Times why she’s ready to start opening up about her experience.
“I think it is important to say that I don’t feel like a victim in any way,” the Golden Globe nominee, 42, explained. “I don’t feel sorry for myself. I don’t even feel like saying, ‘Well, it’s been a really hard road for me.'”
“Everybody has their personal issues and this has been mine, and it has been about finding my own self-worth and position and strength and power. I tell my story only because I know that, having been in situations like the one I was in, I searched for success stories, stories of people who could get out, could get over it and just be okay,” said Ricci.
She continued: “And so the fact that now I am in this place where I am so much better than OK, that is my impetus for being honest about it. Today I am not ready to talk about it in more depth, but I do think it is important that we have examples for other women — that, as scary as it is, changing your life and saving yourself is the only choice.”
Ricci filed for divorce from Heerdegen after almost seven years of marriage in July 2020, when she was granted an emergency protective order after police were called to their home the previous month.
In January 2021, Ricci obtained a restraining order against Heerdegen, citing “severe physical and emotional abuse,” allegations that he denied. They later agreed on a custody arrangement for their son Freddie, 8, that April.
“Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but it took me a long time to admit to myself what was going on, what it should be called. Denial is very strong,” Ricci told The Times. “Of course, you don’t want to accept that the worst possible thing is happening and that you put yourself in that situation. So it took me a really long time to realize that.”
The Yellowjackets star tied the knot with hairstylist Mark Hampton last October, and they welcomed their first baby together, daughter Cleopatra Ricci, 11 months, in December.
Ricci raved about her new marriage in August while appearing on Anna Faris’ Unqualified podcast. “I would say — and this sounds really annoying and cloying and stupid — but I would say the first time I really fell in love in a healthy way is probably this marriage that I’m in now,” she said.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
With the sting of anticipation swelling as Yellowjackets fans wait for Showtime to share an upcoming Season 2 premiere date, at least the cast has an early inkling of what lies in store for the series’ chilling, time-shifting story.
The dread-laced thriller’s Emmy-nominated debut season emerged as a sleeper hit for Showtime, amassing more streaming viewers than all but one original series in platform history (second only to Dexter: New Blood.) As the cast dives into Season 2, star Christina Ricci, who plays the adult incarnation of soccer team survivor Misty, says things will veer even further into wild horror territory as the grown-up gang of ex-teammates tries to piece together the show’s central mystery.
“I can’t really get too much into detail, but I will say the first couple scripts had the entire cast gasping. So it’s even wilder,” Ricci recently confided to Entertainment Tonight. “It’s really fun; it’s exciting. After our first season, people loved the show so they’re excited to be there…Most of my scenes — not to spoil anything — but a lot of my scenes this season have been with Elijah Wood and it’s wonderful working with him again. We’ve just had a great time.”
Wood arrives as a Yellowjackets newcomer, having previously starred alongside Ricci in director Ang Lee’s tense 1997 drama The Ice Storm. As a volunteer detective named Walter, Wood’s story arc is expected to span the entire second season, and ”will challenge Misty in ways she won’t see coming,” as Showtime teases.
Six Feet Under alum Lauren Ambrose will also reportedly join the expanded cast as the adult version of Vanessa “Van” Palmer, alongside returning stars Melanie Lynskey/Sophie Nélisse (as the respective adult and teen versions of Shauna), plus similarly split adult-teen roles for Tawny Cypress/Jasmin Savoy Brown (Taissa), Juliette Lewis/ Sophie Thatcher (Natalie), and Ricci/Sammi Hanratty as Misty.
While we don’t yet know when Yellowjackets will be back next year, the wait’s nearly over for Ricci’s upcoming return to a frightfully familiar franchise she’s known since childhood. She’s heading back to her Addams Family haunts in the Tim Burton-directed Netflix series Wednesday — but not, as she did in the 1990s film trilogy, as Wednesday Addams. Ricci’s former role will be played by Jenna Ortega, while Ricci herself stars as a new character named Miss Marilyn Thornhill, who’s a graduate of Nevermore Academy.
“It’s Tim Burton so you can’t really go wrong,” Ricci told ET, adding that the 8-episode series’ “scripts were really wonderful. I love the spirit in which they were making the show. It really does retain a lot of the spirit of Wednesday — that dignity, that incredibly self-assured young girl who knows who she is and won’t change or pander for other people. I think it’s really great. Every generation should have their own Wednesday.”
Catch Ricci’s Addams Family reunion alongside Ortega, Fred Armisen (Fester), Luis Guzmán (Gomez), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Morticia), and Gwendoline Christie (as academy principal Larissa Weems), when Wednesday makes its small-screen premiere — wait for it — on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at Netflix.
Christina Ricci is passing the “Addams Family” torch and praising Jenna Ortega’s performance in ‘Wednesday.’ “She reminds me of how I was when I was younger,” she told Access Hollywood. “She is so incredibly talented.” The 42-year-old also revealed that her son has been enjoying her portrayal of the character in the original movies. “He turns to me and goes mom you were really bad and naughty,” she added. “Wednesday” drops on Netflix on Nov. 23.
Christina Ricci chatted with ‘Extra’s’ Melvin Robert at the premiere of the new Addams Family series ‘Wednesday,’ which sees Jenna Ortega take over as the character Christina made popular. Christina spoke about her role as Wednesday’s teacher Ms. Thornhill in the show and raved about Jenna’s ‘wonderful’ version of Wednesday. ‘Wednesday’ premieres on Netflix November 23.
Christina Ricci thinks “every generation” should have their own version of Wednesday Addams.
The 42-year-old actress shot to international stardom as Wednesday in ‘The Addams Family’ and its sequel, ‘Addams Family Values’, in the early 90s, and Christina is now thrilled to appear in ‘Wednesday’, the new comedy-horror series.
The Hollywood star – who plays a new character in the Netflix show – said: “It’s Tim Burton so you can’t really go wrong.
“Also, the scripts were really wonderful. I love the spirit in which they were making the show. It really does retain a lot of the spirit of Wednesday – that dignity, that incredibly self-assured young girl who knows who she is and won’t change or pander for other people.
“I think it’s really great. Every generation should have their own Wednesday.”
Christina also praised the performance of Jenna Ortega, who plays the part of Wednesday on the show.
The actress described Jenna, 20, as the “perfect Wednesday for this time”.
She told ‘Entertainment Tonight’: “She just was Wednesday, you know?
“I came on set – she’d been doing the show already for a couple months – and she was Wednesday, and I’m just so impressed with her as a person, as an actress. Really, she’s wonderful in the part and she’s a perfect Wednesday … She’s the perfect Wednesday for this time.”
Christina made her film debut at the age of nine, in the comedy-drama movie ‘Mermaids’, and she’s starred in a host of well-known films and TV shows during her career.
But Christina believes she’ll always be remembered for playing the part of Wednesday.
She said: “Playing Wednesday has been a huge part of my life and career and really something that was so fun to make when we made both movies. It’s so fun to carry on that spirit.
“I’m so happy to be here in this new incarnation and, like I said, every generation should have their own Wednesday.”