Well, Wednesday Addams is finally getting her own star vehicle in a new live-action television series from Netflix. And in a particularly awkward (though not-at-all surprising) move, said show will be directed by Tim Burton.
Why awkward, you ask? Well, Tim Burton’s strengths as a director of the weird and macabre aside, he’s been very vocal defending his choices to have largely white casts because, to his mind, “things either call for things, or they don’t”. So don’t count on talent the likes of Storm Reid or Quvenzhané Wallis to take up the title role, no matter how badly we would love to see it.
Here is Netflix’s announcement via Twitter:
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Are you ready for the best Wednesday ever? A Wednesday Addams live action series following the spooky icon’s coming of age is coming to Netflix. And with it, Tim Burton will be making his TV directorial debut! pic.twitter.com/rKQ7oZU645
— Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) February 17, 2021
I’ve got a gripe here on Netflix’s end because they list this as Burton’s “TV directorial debut”, which it is emphatically not. Burton’s very first directing credits (outside several short films) were in television; a Hansel and Gretel special for Disney, along with episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Faerie Tale Theatre. That last one was dearly important to me as a child, as Burton directed their version of Aladdin, which starred none other than Robert Carradine, Leonard Nimoy, and James Earl Jones. It was a nerd culture cornucopia, as it were.
There’s another angle on this, which is… why a coming-of-age story? We’ve seen teenage Wednesday before, and there was another route this could have gone—one that saw an adult Christina Ricci reprise the role that made her a household name, now as a woman in her forties. No one’s tackled that story yet. No official word on the casting yet, but given how sadly awful the last Addams film was (the animated one from 2019, not the gems we got in the 90s), this might be a slight improvement?