Netflix has picked up the live-action, coming-of-age comedy Wednesday, which will see everyone’s favorite maid of the macabre, Wednesday Addams, graduate into a full-fledged leading lady. The streaming service has also bought the distribution rights to the feature Worth.
Wednesday Addams has been portrayed in television, film, video games and even musicals, but the character has always been part of The Addams Family ensemble until now – in her first young adult television series.
The series is a sleuthing, supernaturally-infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore Academy. Wednesday’s attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorized the local town, and solve the supernatural mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago – all while navigating her new and very tangled relationships at Nevermore.
From MGM/UA Television, the eight-episode series will be directed and executive produced by Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands). The showrunners and executive producers are Al Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville, Into the Badlands).
The executive producers also include Andrew Mittman for 1.21 (The Addams Family, Alphas), Kevin Miserocchi (Tee and Charles Addams Foundation), Kayla Alpert (Code Black, Up All Night), Jonathan Glickman for Glickmania (RESPECT, The Addams Family 2), and Gail Berman (The Addams Family, Alphas).
“When we first heard Al Gough and Miles Millar’s pitch for Wednesday we were struck, like an arrow from a crossbow, right in our hearts. They nailed the tone, the spirit and the characters, but gave us a fresh way into this story,” said Teddy Biaselli, Director of Original Series at Netflix.
“We then got the call that visionary director and lifelong Addams Family fan Tim Burton wanted to make his television directorial debut with this series. Tim has had a history of telling empowering stories about social outsiders like Edward Scissorhands, Lydia Deitz, and Batman. And now he brings his unique vision to Wednesday and her spooky classmates at Nevermore Academy.”
The streaming service also announced that it has acquired Worth in the US, Canada, Latin America, Australia, the UK, France, Turkey and select other countries.
Higher Ground Productions, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, will present the film, alongside Netflix. Netflix will release the film in September 2021, the 20th Anniversary of 9/11.
The film, based on Kenneth Feinberg’s memoir entitled What Is Life Worth, is directed by Sara Colangelo (The Kindergarten Teacher) from a script by Max Borenstein (upcoming Godzilla Vs. Kong). Borenstein’s original script was featured in the 2008 Black List.
The cast includes Academy Award nominee Michael Keaton (The Trial of the Chicago 7, Spotlight, Birdman), Academy Award nominee Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada, The Hunger Games), Academy Award nominee Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone, Lost Girls) , Tate Donovan, Talia Balsam, and Laura Benanti.
The biopic follows Kenneth Feinberg (Keaton), an accomplished lawyer appointed Special Master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, tasked by Congress to allocate financial compensation to the victims of the tragedy – to calculate incalculable loss in the face of cynicism, bureaucracy, and the politics of division.
The producers are MadRiver Pictures’ Marc Butan (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Anthony Katagas for Keep Your Head (12 Years a Slave), Sugar23’s Michael Sugar (Spotlight, Dickinson), Michael Keaton, Bard Dorros of Anonymous Content (Spotlight, True Detective), Sean Sorensen for Royal Viking Entertainment (Black and Blue) and Max Borenstein.