All it takes is four musical notes and two-finger snaps to instantly evoke The Addams Family, the comically morbid comic strip family that spawned a TV show, several movies, and a Broadway musical. Now it’s heading back to the small-screen for the streaming age thanks to Tim Burton and Netflix. While many people agree that Burton is an ideal fit for the material, there’s some difference of opinion about who makes the ideal Gomez. For some people, there is only Raul Julia, but since he has died, Burton and fans must look elsewhere, and fans don’t agree on where.
‘The Addams Family’ moves From magazines to TV to movies and back
How one primarily knows The Addams Family depends largely on age. Those born before World War II first encountered them in the pages of the New Yorker starting in 1938, courtesy of cartoonist Charles Addams. The one-panel cartoons depicted a morbid family that delighted in the macabre. The key characters were Gomez and Morticia, their kids Wednesday and Pugsley, and Uncle Fester.
Then, the family’s audience widened with the television series that ran for two seasons on ABC from 1964 to 1966. Although the cartoons still ran in The New Yorker until Charles Addams died in 1988, the family didn’t seem to make a great impression on the national consciousness outside of reruns of the TV series.
Then the movies came calling in the ’90s, with the movies starring Julia as Gomez, Angelica Huston as Morticia, Christina Ricci as Wednesday, and Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester. They starred in The Addams Family in 1991, followed by Addams Family Values in 1993, with Barry Sonnenfeld at the helm of both movies. A direct-to-video movie, Addams Family Reunion, came out in 1998. The Broadway musical hit the stage in 2010, and a CGI animated movie came out in 2019.
How did Tim Burton get famous?
Some people would say that the Addams Family and Burton were made for each other, given Burton’s gleefully dark sensibilities. He got his first taste of Hollywood working as a Disney animator in the early 1980s, but he and Disney didn’t truly mesh. Burton broke into feature filmmaking with Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure in 1985, immediately showing a vicinity for outsiders with an odd taste. He followed that with Beetlejuice in 1988, then truly hit the big time with the game-changing blockbuster Batman in 1989.
While Burton was praised for original creations like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands, he also became known for bringing his unique style to an already well-known property, ranging from Planet of the Apes to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Alice in Wonderland, with mixed results. His most recent film was the tepidly received Dumbo remake in 2019.
While many reports stated the Addams episode would be Burton’s TV directing debut, per IMDb, this is not the case. He directed episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and Faerie Tale Theatre in the ’80s. All the same, the series, called Wednesday, about the dour daughter going to school, falls squarely into his wheelhouse. There has been no casting announcement yet, but fans and other parties have made their various wishes clear.
What do fans say about casting Gomez?
For some people, Julia’s performance as Gomez is indelible, so some people think someone with a Latinx background should get the part. Teen Vogue wrote that Julia’s performance was the first Latinx representation they saw.
Fans on Reddit did not agree, with one person titling the thread “When woke goes wrong.” That thread pointed out that Gomez was Castilian, not Latin American. Names as varied as Lin-Manuel Miranda and frequent Burton collaborator Johnny Depp were suggested, but there does not seem to be a consensus choice. Some fans even questioned the validity of the entire project. “I think the real problem is that there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to make a new Addams Family movie.”
Be that as it may, we’re getting a new take whether fans like it or not. The debate will doubtlessly continue even after the casting is announced.
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