The Addams Family is one of the most beloved properties in all of pop culture. The creepy and kooky familial unit has endured over countless iterations and it looks like they are about to go through yet another interpretation. And this time, they are being handled by a creator who seems almost too perfect for the property.
Deadline reports that Tim Burton has been announced as the developer of a brand new television series based on The Addams Family. According to the report, Burton is “negotiating to executive produce and possibly direct all episodes of this new take” on the classic property. If this deal goes through, it would be the first time that Tim Burton has such a deep and direct involvement with a television project.
This news is almost too perfect considering Tim Burton looks like he could be a member of the Addams Family. However, Burton’s level of quality in his cinematic output has taken a sharp decline over the last decade or so. While he became extremely lauded for productions like Batman, Edward Scissorhands, and Ed Wood, his latter films have mostly been forgettable or outright awful. Perhaps this new adaptation of The Addams Family is what Burton needs to find the weirdo spark of genius that made him one of the hottest talents in all of Hollywood.
This is especially surprising news since The Addams Family just recently released an animated feature film that is still set to release a sequel next year. Could this new television show halt any plans for that follow-up film? Or will they work in tandem to help promote each other? Tim Burton’s name certainly carries more notoriety than the animated feature’s popularity at this point. Could one project end up nixing the other one out of existence?
Regardless, if Tim Burton’s version of The Addams Family does come to fruition, it is going to be an insane task trying to cast the beloved family of oddballs. The 1991 live-action film and its superior 1993 sequel have cemented themselves as definitive interpretations of the characters for many fans. A lot of that has to do with the incredible casting. Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston brought such incredible energy to the roles of Gomez and Morticia, and they were backed up by equally impressive turns from Christina Ricci as Wednesday, Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester, Jimmy Workman as Pugsley, and Carel Struycken as the faithful butler Lurch. Judith Malina played Grandmama Addams in the 1991 film but was replaced by Carol Kane in the sequel, and Kane was even better.
This is all to say that whoever decides to slip into the funerial black outfits of the ghoulishly gleeful Addams Family is going to have one tough act to follow. Tim Burton will have to step up his game in comparison to what he has been putting out in the last few years if he wants to compete with such classic portrayals of these characters. We will have to wait and see if Burton’s deal goes through and what we can expect from this new take on the characters. In the meantime, why not watch the original television adaptation of Charles Addams’s morbidly funny comic strip characters? you know you’ve been singing the theme song this whole time.