Nearly three decades since the theatrical release of Barry Sonnenfield’s Addams Family Values, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Christina Ricci is making her way back to the franchise as she officially signs on to Netflix‘s upcoming live-action Addams Family series. After famously playing Wednesday Addams in the early 90s, Ricci is now set portray an entirely new character, joining Jenna Ortega who will be taking on the mantle of the iconic titular teen in the Tim Burton-directed series.
According to Deadline, the Yellowjackets star’s casting comes after Thora Birch’s sudden exit during production. Her new character will likely be similar to the one that Birch was initially set to play. Production on the Wednesday series is expected to wrap at the end of the month in Romania.
“The series will chart the titular heroine’s years as a student at the peculiar Nevermore Academy as she attempts to master her emerging psychic ability,” reads the synopsis, “While also thwarting a monstrous killing spree terrorizing 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 is an 8-episode series described as a coming-of-age comedy that will be a sleuthing, supernaturally-infused mystery. The live-action series will be led by Jenna Ortega (Yes Day) in her major TV project as the titular lead along with Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia Addams, Luis Guzmán as Gomez Addams, Victor Dorobantu as Thing, Isaac Ordonez as Pugsley Addams, and George Burcea as Lurch.
Joining them are Hunter Doohan, Georgie Farmer, Moosa Mostafa, Emmy Myers, Naomi J. Ogawa, Joy Sunday, and Percy Hynes White, who have been tapped to portray Nevermore Academy’s supernatural students. Meanwhile, Gwendoline Christie, Riki Lindhome, and Jamie McShane have been cast as members of Nevermore Academy’s faculty, with Christie set to play Principal Larissa Weems, Morticia’s former classmate who still has an axe to grind.
Additional cast includes Tommie Earl Jenkins as Mayor Walker, Iman Marson as Lucas Walker, William Houston as Joseph Crackstone, Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo as Deputy Santiago, Oliver Watson as Kent, Calum Ross as Rowan, and Johnna Dias Watson as Divina.
Wednesday is executive produced and directed by Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Corpse Bride) in his television directorial debut. The acclaimed filmmaker was previously attached to write and produce an animated Addams Family film for Illumination Entertainment. However, three years after the project was announced, it was ultimately canceled.
Based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams in 1938, Wednesday is created and written by Al Gough and Miles Millar, who are also set as showrunners. Executive producers are Andrew Mittman, Kevin Miserocchi, Kayla Alpert, Jonathan Glickman, and Gail Berman, with MGM and United Artists also attached to produce.