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How 'Wednesday' production designers found a gothic castle with an 'Addams family vibe'

The brief for production designer Mark Scruton to bring Tim Burton back to life as The Addams Family was very clear. “We’re not trying to copy anything else — it’s not a sequel, it’s not a reinvention, it’s something new,” he said. Scruton returns to the source material of cartoonist Charles Adams to evoke the world ofWednesday and, together with Burton and an illustrator, first sketches Sad Wednesday (Jenna Ortega) and lively Emma Myers’ dorm, which will set the tone for everything else.

“It’s the epitome of everything. The difference between [boarding school] Nevermore and [small town] Jericho is the same as the difference between Enid and Wednesday,” explains Scruton. “The window went from wanting to provide a strong graphic connection to the fact that the two were the complete opposite. I wanted half to be stained glass and half to be completely monochrome. But we had to go back and forth,” Enid herself completed All the coloring, so Wednesday could scrape it all off, and then that would lead to even more tension between them. “You get this fantastic, literal split in the middle, which works so well on the show.”

And that’s where things get complicated, because they’re filming Netflix in Toronto Plans for the series fell through, and the look Scruton imagined was scrapped. “[Toronto] basically just didn’t fit in. We had to find other places that would give us more space,” he said. Enter Romania, home to the creepy Nevermore Academy, kitschy theme park Pilgrim World and the quintessentially American town of Jericho, to name just a few of Scruton’s creations. “At During the week, we descended from the swamp scrub to the town of Jericho, as you can see on the show,” Scruton said. “There’s a large piece of farmland next to the studio that we can rent down the street. We can say, ‘We’re going to have 15 These were stripped,’ and built from scratch.”

Theme park Pilgrim World is a tribute to

Summer Camp Musical of Addams Family Values. Courtesy of Netflix

Cantacuzino Castle in Busteni, Romania, was the basis for Nevermore Academy’s grounds.

The castle used as Nevermore was chosen for its Gothic Revival qualities. “It has an Addams family vibe,” Scruton said. “Tim’s not much of a color fan. I know, who would have thought? But this castle has a nice gray stone that gives it a heavy feel. It’s perfect for us.” Although the turrets and front The faces exist in real life and are groomed for the show, but the rest of the exterior is CGI magic. Then redesign the dorms to fit. “When we found a new location, we went back and brought in design details that matched the castle. The entire front balcony was redesigned and we took out the bricks and details from the real castle so it all fit together.”

Knowing he is as strong as the team he has put together, Scruton applauds the Romanians for their A-level play. “[We] really found people who wanted to show what Romania could do and make it work,” he said. “People who left the industry came back to work on the show. Sculptors and plasterers, who used to be part of the film industry, left because there wasn’t enough film industry to support that much. We didn’t end up getting rich on time, without them we did Less than.”

Romania The Cantacuzino Castle in Busteni is the basis for the Nevermore College grounds. Presented by Netflix

This story first appeared in the December stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive this magazine, click here to subscribe .



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