New Addams Family Cast Photos Reveal Luis Guzmán As an Ode to the Original Gomez
As fans of Tim Burton and “The Addams Family” alike gear up to watch Netflix’s “Wednesday,” a creative reimagining that centers on fan-favorite Wednesday Addams, Vanity Fair has released a handful of exclusive images featuring the entire family, including Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán as Morticia and Gomez Addams, respectively.
The cast for the upcoming show is heavily Latino, including three of the four members of the Addams family itself. Some fans were surprised to learn that Zeta-Jones, who has played Latina characters on multiple occasions, is actually of Welsh descent.
However, her appearance in the show is a welcome inclusion; no one seems tailor-made for the role of Morticia quite like Zeta-Jones, who carries on the legacy of Anjelica Huston in the 1991 adaptation and Carolyn Jones from the original series, which ran from 1964 to 1966.
Guzmán’s casting as Gomez is another matter entirely. The character was written as Latino from the beginning, despite being played by a white actor in the original series. The 1991 incarnation cast Puerto Rican actor Raul Julia in the role, while 2016’s animated reboot starred Guatemalan actor Oscar Isaac.
Elsewhere, “Scream” actress Jenna Ortega has been cast in the titular role of Wednesday alongside newcomer Isaac Ordonez as youngest brother Pugsley Addams. Four of the show’s eight episodes will be directed by Burton with the help of co-creators and longtime collaborators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. The writing duo have worked on everything from 2004’s “Spider-Man 2” to The CW’s “Smallville,” which they co-created in 2001.
The new show focuses on Wednesday as she struggles to balance her life as a “normal” girl attending Nevermore Academy with her developing psychic powers and her mission to stop a local killing spree that has residents in a state of shock and terror.
“Wednesday” also hopes to return the Addams Family to their mid-60s roots with respect to creator Charles Addams’ original vision. “He wanted the silhouette to look more like the Charles Addams cartoons, which is Gomez shorter than Morticia, versus the kind of suave Raul Julia version in the movies,” says co-creator Gough of Burton’s directorial approach to the series.
Despite that reverence for Addams’ original series, everyone working on “Wednesday” agreed that they still had an obligation to do something original with the material and the legendary characters. Speaking specifically about Gomez’s role in the show, co-creator Millar said, “He’s also incredibly debonair and romantic, and I think he has all those classic ingredients of the Gomez that has come before, but he brings something also very different and new.”
He continued, “That’s something that was very important to the show — that it didn’t feel like a remake or a reboot. It’s something that lives within the Venn diagram of what happened before, but it’s its own thing. It’s not trying to be the movies or the ’60s TV show. That was very important to us and very important to Tim.”
As far as Wednesday’s conflict throughout the show, the character is saddled not only with school, psychic abilities and solving murders, but with her relationship to the other people in her family. “The relationship that kind of hangs over the season is really Wednesday’s relationship with Morticia,” said Gough. “How do you step out of the shadow of a mother as glamorous as Morticia?”
He added, “Wednesday’s not scared of sharks or creepy crawlies or anything, but she’s afraid of emotion. Their overt displays of affection drive Wednesday crazy.” Miller agreed, saying, “Every family is weird, and this one happens to be extremely weird, but they love each other. And that’s ultimately what it’s about: They always have each other’s backs, and it’s unconditional love.”
“Wednesday” debuts on Netflix in fall 2022.