Meet Tim Burton's New Wednesday Addams: Jenna Ortega

Actor Jenna Ortega, the new Wednesday Adams, at a red-carpet event in 2018.
Jenna Ortega attends the 33rd Annual Imagen Awards on August 25, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: JC Olivera (Getty Images)

Tim Burton, who’s set to make his TV directorial debut with Wednesday—a live-action comedy about creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky teen Wednesday Addams—has cast the goth icon. She’ll be played by Jenna Ortega, who’s only 18 but already has an extensive resume of both live-action and voice-over roles.

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Those credits include movies (Insidious: Chapter 2, the upcoming fifth Scream movie) and TV (Jane the Virgin), as well as animated series (Disney Channel’s Elena of Avalor and Netflix’s Jurassic Park: Camp Cretaceous). She’s also a noted presence on social media and shared the news of her casting with an Instagram post that Netflix promptly reposted on Twitter. She wrote, “New chapter. Hope I can do Wednesday Addams justice. *snaps twice*”

Yep, that is definitely a Christina Ricci-worthy look of icy disdain in that pose; Ortega just needs to add some braids and she’s already in character. Along with the casting, Netflix also revealed a few more tidbits about the eight-episode series, which will be directed by Burton alongside showrunners-creators Al Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville, Into the Badlands). Wednesday is described as “a new live-action, comedic coming-of-age tale” but also “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.”

As you might guess, there’s no word on when we might get to see Wednesday Addams in her new guise as “psychic teen sleuth” hit the streamer—but now that the most important role is cast, production will no doubt be moving full speed ahead.


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io9 News Editor, here since 2016. Previously SF Bay Guardian newspaper (RIP), SFSU (MA, Cinema Studies), member of the SF Bay Area Film Critics Circle, big fan of horror, metal, and verrry small dogs.

DISCUSSION

gendry-baratheon
Gendry-Baratheon

*Thwart* a killing spree? That hardly sounds like the Wednesday Addams we know and love. I mean, unless she’s just pissed she’s not the one doing the killing.