“I particularly love Wednesday because she shares my worldview on things. And that was fun to explore,” shared Tim Burton in a behind-the-scenes featurette about making the Netflix series. It marks the director’s first foray into TV after a film career that spawned classics like “Beetlejuice,” “Batman,” “Edward Scissorhands” and “Ed Wood.” His animator’s apprenticeship with Walt Disney Studios in the early 1980s laid the foundation for Burton’s two Oscar nominated films, “Corpse Bride” and “Frankenweenie.” Forty years into his storied career, the multi-talented writer, producer, animator and director stepped behind the camera for his first television series.
“Wednesday” tells the story of the Addams family through the lens of 16-year-old Wednesday Addams (played by Jenna Ortega) as she enrolls in the extraordinary Nevermore Academy — a boarding school designed for the outcasts of the world, from werewolves to sirens. As she grapples with her own psychic abilities, she contends with a local monster on the loose and a mystery that entangled her parents when they were students at Nevermore 25 years earlier.
SEE Jenna Ortega (‘Wednesday’) on ‘startling’ response to Netflix series: ‘I can’t think of another Latina character who has the same reach’
Burton, who directed the first four episodes and serves as an executive producer, sought to capture the “outsider” of it all through both visual and narrative storytelling. “Tim sees himself as an outsider,” co-showrunner and fellow executive producer Miles Millar explained. “You look back at his movies, there are characters like Wednesday, and I think this is sort of a dream come true for him, to really explore that character. Tim Burton and Wednesday Addams are like a marriage made in heaven.” Watch the Netflix featurette below.
Burton brings his signature gothic style to the series, “which comes to him very naturally,” said Ortega. When it came to working with Burton herself, she was thrilled to discover his artistic vision included meticulous details — right down to Burton drawing versions of the monster himself. “He had a couple sketches on his table and the writers saw it, and they said, ‘That one.’”
SEE Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (‘Wednesday’ creators) on teaming with Tim Burton: ‘It’s a match made in heaven’ [Exclusive Video Interview]
The episode “Wednesday’s Child Is Full of Woe” earned Burton a Directors Guild of America Award nomination for Best Comedy Series Director earlier this year. Helming “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” earned him Gold Derby and Golden Globe Awards nominations in 2008. While recognition for “Wednesday” would mark Burton’s first Primetime Emmy nomination, he is a Daytime Emmy winner as a producer for the 1989 animated program “Beetlejuice,” which was loosely based on his film of the same name.
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