Tim Burton Was Drawn to ‘Wednesday’s’ Outsider Status for His First TV Series: ’She’s an Outcast Among Outcasts. That’s Kind of How I Felt’

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Tim Burton made the trek to Italy for the European fan screening of his first TV series, “Wednesday,” at the Lucca Comics & Games conference, where the famed gothic fantasy and horror director made one thing very clear: feature filmmaking remains close to his dark heart.

“I enjoyed doing this TV series, just because it was interesting to have a different pace, a slower kind of burn. But obviously for me, I still love movies. I still think there’s a place for movies these days,” Burton said, when asked whether he had a desire to take on further TV projects.

Burton revisits the world of “The Addams Family” in “Wednesday,” which launches on Netflix on Nov. 23.

The American director said he was drawn to the spinoff, starring “You” star Jenna Ortega as a teenage Wednesday Addams, because it showed a different side to the iconic character.

“I grew up watching the TV series, and I also liked Charles Adams’ cartoons. His original cartoons were really inspirational to me. But what triggered me most was just the Wednesday character,” Burton said.

“I feel like Wednesday. I’ve felt like Wednesday since I was a teenager, even though I was a boy,” the director added, before pointing out: “The snarky, snide teenager has the same kind of viewpoint as I do, the same kind of black and white viewpoint.”

Burton noted that up until this show, Wednesday has been “usually portrayed as a child.”

“But I wanted to see what she would look like in school, and how she would react to her family, and other people, and therapy,” the director added.

The show depicts Wednesday, the twisted teenage daughter of Morticia (Catherine Zeta Jones) and Gomez Addams (Luis Guizmán). After she does something very bad at her regular high school, Wednesday is sent to Nevermore Academy, a spooky boarding school for problematic kids where she attempts to master her new psychic abilities and solve a murder mystery connected to her family’s past.

Asked if Wednesday’s experience at Nevermore can be considered a depiction of a world of marginalized characters with mental health issues, Burton said the witty show can certainly be read that way.

“I’ve had mental health issues myself my whole life, so I understand it,” said Burton.

But he also pointed out that “Wednesday goes to a school of outcasts, but she’s an outcast among outcasts. That’s kind of how I felt. This project really spoke to me. It’s exactly how I felt about school, my parents, other people. So, even though she’s at a place for people like her, she doesn’t like to join the party.”

The show sees Tim Burton executive produce and direct four of the eight episodes, with Gandja Monteiro and James Marshall serving as additional directors. Alfred Gough and Miles Millar serve as co-showrunners, writers and executive producers on the series. Steve Stark, Andrew Mittman, Kevin Miserocchi, Kayla Alpert, Jonathan Glickman and Gail Berman also executive produce. “Wednesday” is produced by MGM Television for Netflix.

 

Tim Burton Was Drawn to ‘Wednesday’s’ Outsider Status for His First TV Series: ’She’s an Outcast Among Outcasts. That’s Kind of How I Felt’

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