Tim Burton Says Wednesday is an Outcast Among Outcasts

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams and Director Tim Burton on set

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams and Director Tim Burton on set
Image: Tomasz Lazar | Netflix

Although Tim Burton is best known for his horror-comedy feature films like Beetlejuice , Corpse Bride, and Edward Scissorhands, as well as his writing and production contributions to The Nightmare Before Christmas (which was actually directed by Henry Selick!), his newest project focuses on the small screen. During his trip to the Lucca Comics and Games conference in Italy last week, Variety shared the discussion where Burton explained why he wanted to do Wednesday.

Burton said that he “grew up watching the [Addams Family] TV series,” as well as the cartoon series by Charles Addams. But it was the Wednesday character herself that drew him to the show, and now this series. “I feel like Wednesday. I’ve felt like Wednesday since I was a teenager, even though I was a boy,” Burton said, explaining that “the snarky, snide teenager has the same kind of viewpoint as I do, the same kind of black and white viewpoint.”

The spinoff stars Jenna Ortega (You) as the titular character, and the cast is already pretty stacked, with Gwendoline Christie and Christina Ricci appearing in all eight episodes. The series will also include guest appearances from Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia Addams and Luis Guzmán as Gomez Addams.

At the convention, Burton agreed that the series can be read as a depiction of mentally ill characters learning to cope with their illness. “I’ve had mental health issues myself my whole life, so I understand it,” Burton said when asked. But for him, the real pathos of the show is more universal. “Wednesday goes to a school of outcasts, but she’s an outcast among outcasts… So, even though she’s at a place for people like her, she doesn’t like to join the party.”

Wednesday premiers on Netflix on November 23.

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