[The following stories include WednesdaySeason 1 Major spoilers and plot details from Smallville.]
with Netflix series Wednesday , Creators Al Gough and Miles Millar bring audiences something they’ve never seen before: the world of Wednesday Addams, away from her eccentric and lovable family.
Breakthrough show kicks off second-biggest opening week in two-year history for Nelson’s Weekly Rank , the latest in a long line of Addams Family adaptations. However, Wednesday is unique in that it mostly follows a clan member (with a reaching out to Hand , ahem, from Thing) and her life at boarding school Nevermore Academy For “vagrants, geeks and monsters”. Within days of her arrival at her new school, the teen goth icon is entangled in a fantastical mystery that she’ll spend all of season one solving: Who’s killing the Nevermore students, and why?
At the end of the finale, Wednesday discovers that her boyfriend Tyler (Hunter Doohan) is actually an “activated” monster named Hyde Kill the Bum, and the controller is none other than Christina Ricci’s Marilyn Thornhill, aka Laurel Gates. The Gates family since 2022 when their ancestor Joseph Claystone was killed by Wednesday’s ancestor Goody Adams. Laurel resurrected Crackstone, hoping to finish what he started and rid the world of the wanderers forever, only to be killed by Adams again.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gough and Millar opened up about what drew them to Wednesday The characters, how they’re going to pay homage to the original Addams family, and what their plans are for a second season — if they have one. The creators also reflected on their experience in Smallville years after the premiere, if they were making the show today, what would they do differently, and would they Want to restart it.
Let’s start with Wednesday . What made you want to create a show based on this character?
This is a us A character that everyone likes very much, and no one spends a lot of time on him. Here’s a character we actually see -, -, -year-old, who is part of a family, would have a funny line in the scene, but we don’t know much about her. Her kind of fearlessness and her ability to always be herself in certain things was interesting, and we thought, okay, “What if she’s a teenage girl? And then if you take her from What about taking her from a family and sending her to boarding school, ostensibly a new family? How would she react?”
previous Addams Family iterations had many callbacks. How much did you get inspired by it?
Miles Millar : I think we definitely want to honor the legacy of the Addams family, and I think it’s a good thing that’s important to us, and we And always, always love to do it. We thought it was a shout out to the fans. The show also has elements of nostalgia. I think we also go back to the original Charles Adams illustration. That’s certainly something we talked to Tim, who was a huge Charles Adams fan growing up. Just look at his work, it’s so fresh, biting, subversive, morbid, funny. We removed some production design elements from his panel, we thought it would be a really fun easter egg for those who know Charles Adams and can refer to it. Even having Christina Ricci in it we thought it would be wonderful to have two Wednesdays together in one scene. We’ve always thought it was a great thing. In Smallville, we had Christopher Reed in the first season, and it was a great episode. I feel like it’s really joining generations of fans, and that’s definitely something we’re happy and proud of.
Wednesday is more Latin than some previous versions language family. What was that creative decision?
Well, it seems It’s been mentioned in many other versions, but no one has actually come out and done it. They obviously cast Raul Julia as Gomez in the movie and we just thought it was something we wanted to focus more on as part of the new version of Wednesday with This pays homage and represents. So, where does this really come from.
I was blown away by the ending, didn’t expect Taylor to be Hyde and throw in Christina Ricci’s Thornhill/Laurel Gates plot twist was even more shocking . What was the creative process like to make these decisions?
Well, Al and me Never been a detective, so we were really excited to try. It’s actually a lot more complicated and difficult than we expected, just when you want to make sure that if you look back at the show there aren’t any loose endings. There’s no — we’re calling it a Fight Club moment — where it’s like, “Well, that can’t happen.” It’s definitely a jigsaw puzzle. So we did all eight episodes, and then we could really make sure that all the red herrings were there, and it felt like a complete mystery, but we didn’t know it was going to work until an actual audience saw it. So, when you’re doing a detective, it’s actually a real bit of nail biting because it can be pretty obvious. And then, when we cast Christina, it was like, “Oh, it’s going to be like a guest star, who’s obviously the bad guy?” And that’s often the case. But it’s nice to hear that people are really getting into the mystery, and that the red herrings are in play. It could be that person. It could be that person. misleading. So that’s really what we like most about the show. This is what worries us the most.
You mentioned that you have never done this before. Have you been inspired by previous detective stories?
Okay, that’s it Gatha Christie feels like an iconic writer when it comes to her classic detective novels, and Wednesday is an up-and-coming crime writer. From Murder, She Wrote to Agatha Christie.
It always has enough red herrings. Like, once you figure out the mystery, you can actually say in a few lines, “This is the mystery,” and then you can complicate it. As Miles said, it’s one thing to do it on the page, but once you get into the cast, and then once you start filming, a couple of times we’ll go back and add some other little touch scene or something to make sure the arrows don’t Will suddenly point to one person or another.
You mentioned not including any loose ends. Surely some detectives do have problems, so you can go that route – ahem, White Lotus Sect Season 2 . Why did you decide not to go that route?
Well, I think For us, it was always about feeling like the season, because there are only eight episodes, it feels like a book, so it feels complete and very satisfying. When you reach the end of a series, you want to be satisfied with the storytelling. It’s about working out those loose ends, and then you want to have anticipation and suspense for next season’s questions, but really wrap up the mystery so we can actually start a whole new mystery next season.
to that moment
What underlying point are you trying to make in Laurel Gates’ efforts to eradicate supernatural beings and misfits?
What we think is good for the genre It’s about the fact that you can tell a lot of different stories, you can touch on a lot of different topics without feeling like you’re trying to punch someone in the head. Obviously homeless people live in this world and people know they are homeless and then how are they treated? Then there’s Crackstone and the history they know, but what’s the history that really happened? And the Gates family, because they keep coming back to Crackstone, is really an extension of that. So, it’s really interesting. It tells the story of a paranoid family trying to eliminate the people in their town who don’t like them in the simplest form.
The concept of all these capable kids going to school together is kind of reminiscent of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. Have you been inspired by similar YA stories?
We always love this types and Harry Potter and Percy Jackson , of course, but I think, for us, Stephen King And Tim Burton, because Tim wasn’t on the project when we first started and created it. Stephen King’s small-town elements and rampant teenage emotions felt like elements [that we went after] and then Charles Adams, so those things really inspired us. This is not any homage to Percy Jackson or anything like that, or Harry Potter, but as Pretty soon you’re at boarding school, and the comparison is there.
Originally we wrestled with this, if we were doing teenage Wednesday Addams, would it be fun if she was a fish out of water in a normal orgasm School? But then we felt like we should be back home every day, and we kind of wanted her out of the family. And then the other thing about boarding school is being in the world of the Addams family. So you see, where did Gomez and Morticia go to school? what is that? How do these people exist in this real world? So it’s exciting for us in terms of opening up and expanding the world of the Addams family, which, I think, is definitely something that people have been interested in. Now we have the opportunity to really expand that world in future seasons, and what’s great is that no one has really explored that part of the Addams family, so it’s really a fresh canvas that we’re excited to take advantage of.
Speaking of never leaving the school. It’s now shutting down at the end of the first season. So, if you’re going to do a second season — and I’m almost certain you will be — what happens to Xavier, Enid, Bianca and the other students next Wednesday?
We want to explore and complicate to normalize all these future relationships. The school was closed when they left, which gives us the greatest possibility for a second season, and I think that’s something we’re excited to explore. For us, the show is also about this female friendship, and Wednesday and Enid are really, uh, that. The fact that they actually connect with the audience is really comforting. So, we’re excited to explore what it would be like to dip her toes in the friendship pool on Wednesday? Like, she hugged. That’s her big arc of the season, right? So like now, we do. And then the other thing that’s really interesting is continuing to explore the Wednesday-Morticia mother-daughter relationship, now that Morticia knows about that power, it gives her some insight into what’s going to happen in the future. How will their relationship develop?
Millar: One of the other factors is that Al and I have always loved the Addams family especially this one role, but we are also fathers to our four daughters. So, we’re definitely picked from life and I think we’re definitely inspired to write or find this teenage character who’s so rare and so confident and cultured and smart and quirky and unapologetic about all those things thing. Usually, teenage girls can start out as ugly ducklings and grow into swans, and here Wednesday is fully formed. I think it’s an amazing ideal role model to see.It’s rare to see female teen protagonists like this, and it’s really inspiring to hear our daughters and their friends talk about the show in this way People are gratified. It really hits that mark in a very positive way, and even though she’s so sick and dark and weird and crazy, she’s actually an incredibly positive force in her world and ours. So, that’s what I really like about this show, it actually puts some really positive stuff out there.
tipping her toes in friendship Wednesday. She also dabbles in a romance with Taylor, and she and Xavier have some will-they won’t-them. Some online users even hope that Enid and Wednesday are the finale. Are you working on it at all times, or do you just want to focus on their friendship?
As Al said, This sisterhood is key to the show. We’re not discounting anything, and, obviously, sometimes the characters reveal themselves, and that’s the fun thing about TV that we love, it’s an organic journey. We have a road map, along which we hope to have routes that take you in unexpected directions. So, we’re open to everything. We want to explore that friendship in various ways, but we’re not going to, and that’s where you sometimes get misled by fans and stuff like that, so it’s just really open to seeing how these characters develop and that friendship. As Al says, that friendship is key to how we see the show.
If I remember correctly, Wednesday and Morticia didn’t conflict so much in the previous Addams Family The iterations they did on this show. Why did you decide to write about their relationship that way?
They don’t, but she In other shows it was a little girl. As Miles said, we have four daughters, and we kind of witness the evolution of the relationship between the daughters and their wives. It does come to that point where she’s trying to get away from who her mother is, or who she thinks her mother is, and trying to establish her own identity. I think that’s where we find Wednesday and Morticia. Obviously, Morticia was pretty taken aback by this, because I think Morticia is the one who [thinks] everyone loves Morticia, so she couldn’t understand what was going on here. This really will be Morticia’s take on Wednesday’s journey. She is not a copy of her. So, I think it’s going to be a really interesting ride.
Also on Wednesday, it’s amazing to pick someone like Catherine Someone like Zeta-Jones, who’s an Oscar-winning actress. She is so charming, so beautiful, so attractive. So, having someone like that as your mother, that’s a huge shadow she casts. So, I think that applies to Wednesday as well, which is something she’s working on. I think the great thing about the Addams family is that they absolutely, 75 love each other. They’re the quirkiest, most functional family on the planet, which is something to aspire to, but still, each person forges their own identity, and that’s very important to Wednesday, very important to her. So, I think the shadow cast by Morticia is something that Wednesday needs to feel she has to escape.
If it were up to you, how long would you like this show to run?
Well, TV’s The beauty is that you can watch multiple seasons in a row, which we’ve done before. It’s also interesting how the world and story unfold themselves the more you go. So, that’s actually something we like to do, when the audience becomes invested in these characters over the years, you also develop a special relationship with them. So, we want it to last as long as possible.
Reports surfaced about a few weeks ago Jenna awaits COVID test results while filming iconic dance scene . What made the decision to make her film wait for the outcome instead of waiting?
can we say The good thing is we have very strict COVID protocols that are enforced throughout the dance. Jenna tested negative the day before and only when she tested positive was she escorted off the set and into quarantine, I think sky. This is one of the Chinese whisper elements. Every test, every protocol was clearly followed, and there was no compromise in any decision to continue filming and filming Jenna sick or ill was never a discussion. If she ever was, we would shut down and put her to rest, the health and well-being of the cast and crew is of the utmost importance to us and everyone at MGM and Netflix. So, in terms of the story, it’s one of those things that’s basically overblown, we understand that, but the facts speak for themselves, every protocol is being followed, the protocols are double-tight — daily masking, PCR testing .
1235286077 Jenna Ortega on Netflix’s “Wednesday” Provided by Netflix
This is the longest time anyone spends on a Wednesday, and Smallville Kind of like when most people were with a young Clark Kent. What drew you to tell the stories of these young people, people that society has grown to know and care about in popular culture?
When I was little In school they used to have these books about historical figures when they were young and they weren’t famous you know so I certainly think that digging into who these iconic people are because there’s a lot of stuff that’s given like Clarke Kent. Like, he’s a nice guy. He grew up in a small town. He put on his glasses and no one recognized him. Like all of these things are a given. Like everyone was told a long time ago, but no one ever actually tried. I think Wednesday is the same. She is a certain way. But it’s interesting to say, “Well, why are these people like that? What makes them tick? How can you tell these chapters that no one’s ever told before?” Part of it is, as a storyteller, you’re always On the hunt for stories that no one has told before. I mean no one ever told Clark Kent this in Superman and thousands of comics and when we were with Smallville many, many years ago Chapter, it’s crazy to live. So, for us, it’s been great.
Millar: I mean, also, how do you add emotion to these iconic characters Complexity? Wednesday seems to be a one-note, and I always thought Clark Kent was a one-note. He’s just a nice guy, a nice guy, and Wednesday’s just a mischievous kid. So how, as a writer, do you take characters like that — kind of extreme, by the way — and make them feel human? I think that’s really our goal. The goal of any writer is to create characters that feel real and have emotional complexity. It’s been a fascinating journey when you start developing these stories and thinking about how they became [the people they became]? In Clark’s case, how did he become what he is, just a superhero, someone who just wants to do good things for the world? And then Wednesday, the journey there, we don’t know where it’s going. No one has seen Adult Wednesday. So in terms of likes, it’s really exciting that we can tell this story. How did she evolve into a woman, and how did you do that without diluting the essence of Wednesday? Her change bandwidth, you never want to change too much on a Wednesday. You want to see her evolve, but she’s a very special person and we never want to change that.
Smallville is very small-town America and Wednesday also had a bit of this exchange with Jericho, but also explored a different crowd. What did you bring from your time in Smallville to Wednesday ?
I think it’s two thing. I think one of them is a mix of many different tones. Just like you can do an action-adventure show in Smallville, you can do a family drama, you can do a teen romance, and sometimes you can do a horror or a mystery . So, I think it really evolved that mix of shades in one show, and I think we then improved on Wednesday because like Miles That said, she’s a completely different character. Clark is inherently good, and that’s one thing you have to always [stick to]. That’s really a show about adolescence with superpowers and a show about extreme parenting. Clark became who he is now because he found his parents. If he landed in a different cornfield and was discovered by Lionel Luthor, he would grow up to be a different person. His strength will always be his strength, but who is he to become? How did the Kents inform them? One of the things we wanted to do there was we make the Kents younger, because in the comics, they’re always like grandparents, and we like that he has younger parents, and they have stories.
Much like Wednesday, this is a program that families watch together. They used to joke around on WB, which was a father-daughter show. Daughters love Romance and Clark, dads love Superman. But it’s always a co-watching experience, which I think you can never plan for. But here’s our anecdote — from Netflix — we’ve heard that’s true for people as well. [Wednesday is] a program that the whole family can watch together.
Both adults and children can get something out of it and enjoy it, that’s what it is today It’s a real honor that you’ve created something that families can watch together, it’s a sense of community and sharing, something that’s meaningful to everyone is a really rare thing. I know in my house, this is a very rare opportunity to come down and watch something together. So, I think, as Al said, it’s something you might hope for, but it’s not something you can plan for. I thought the tone juggling in Smallville was very real and this one adds a more pronounced comedic tone, so I think that’s an element of the show apart from Smallville. Wednesday is inherently funny and smart, so citing a lot of literature and making sure she really feels real about herself, so there’s a similarity between these characters in terms of really fleshing out and making them feel real.
Gough: in Smallville In, it’s Clark who holds the secret, and no one else in town really knows. While other people can be infected with kryptonite, they are very secretive. I think the interesting thing about Jericho is that they know the school exists. They know these kids are capable. So now like once it comes out in the world, how does the world react to it? So definitely, I think the community there is more important than Smallville, which is really about Clark and his family keeping this secret.
We always think of genres as allegories of very related things, so Smallville tells the story of a closeted teenager who can’t share his secrets. So, it’s also basically a gay parable about a boy who can’t express himself, and deeply supportive parents, about an illegal immigrant who ends up being the savior of the country. Thus, he became the ultimate American patriot. So it’s these two themes that run through Smallville and the celebration of America.
Then, Wednesday is also a celebration of the Other and the different forms it takes and Rong. Everyone sees Wednesday as an aspiring character. Everyone sees themselves as outsiders. So, she is the ultimate outsider. In an outcast school, she is the ultimate outcast. so. I think that works thematically as well in terms of very modern themes that resonate right now, and it’s a foundation for the series, but not a first choice.
1235286077 Smallville End of Premiere Years ago. Looking back now, when you think about your time on the show and how it played out for the rest of your career, what do you think about?
Smallville End of Premiere Years ago. Looking back now, when you think about your time on the show and how it played out for the rest of your career, what do you think about?
This is the old school network television. You sit down and you write 10 episodes, this is for any writers room, any showrunner or creator It’s a tall order to say the least. There are so many stories to tell, and we’ve definitely been trying to stretch everything in terms of pushing the limits of the visuals, pushing the limits of the action, pushing the limits. How does this show look like a movie on TV? Everything about it is ambitious, what I think that is, even 00 After many years, we are doing it differently way, but it’s also completely different. You’re making eight episodes, and for each episode, you can shoot four Smallville in the space it takes to make a single episode of this show. So, every episode here is like a little Fabergé egg, it feels like a real most complex movie, but it’s a huge challenge, both have wonderful elements, but they’re different animals, I guess what did i say. Making a Smallville episode is very different than making a Wednesday episode.
Gough: As Miles said, Wednesday is really a chapter of a book, and Smallville is as much a short story in the world as the network TV schedule, and you can tie it It seems that each season has several episodes of Fairytale. Again, you never know why a show really resonates, the one on 9/10, so there Before it was a novelty, even in the media, it was treated like, what are they doing? High school superhero? Then at 9/, this is comfort food. It’s like comfort food for the American soul because it’s about America and everyone knows about Superman. So it’s about good and evil. So I think it’s just a tragedy, but it’s a show at the right time.
I’m really touched. We used to get a lot of letters from military personnel stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan saying it was the highlight of their week, watching the show. So it’s a very different era, for that matter, and the show just happens to be catering to the American comfort food need. It’s macaroni and cheese on TV. It feels like they need it. This, I think, is also the right time. Everyone thinks that this idea may be post-epidemic, and it feels like an outsider, but it is also quite fun. Just a really nice, light, spicy snack after a really dark place like Dahmer,.
Did you do it differently in Smallville?
Clark-Lana thing Also ended up long. Something else must be happening there. I think that’s a bit repetitive. My little girl is now, finally after Wednesday , she is going back to see Smallville, she is at Second season. She said, “What’s the relationship between those two?” And I thought, “That was a different time.” So, I think there’s something there, and if we go back, we might be more adventurous with some of those relationships and bring them to some minds and let them function.
Millar: We are very cautious, just very aware of the fact that we want to achieve five seasons , we are over season, but we were like, “Well, if we split them Separated, what do we do?” Likewise, as the girl’s father, I think we’re portraying women differently today. I think Lana, her agency is not there. She could have been a stronger character, but she always felt like she was in a weaker position. These are different times, different times. So, that’s something I think we can do and definitely look at doing better.
With tons of reboots and remakes on the way, do you want to revisit Smallville with a certain method?
Honestly, no. I think we’ve told that story, and they’ve always kept Superman fresh. I just read last night that James Gunn is writing a new Young Superman movie , I said, “Okay.” I think we’re very, very lucky to be doing this show when we’re doing it, because we gotta do what we want to do, frankly Say, no committee sits around us telling us what we can or cannot do. I mean, we have a Warner feature where they won’t give us certain characters that we want, but we have to make a show that we want to make, and we’re not allowed to make that show today. There are many deviations from the classics. One generation’s heresy is the next generation’s gospel.
The whole premise of the show is not classic. The idea that Clark took a meteor shower to kill people and Lex was there. All of this is completely new, added to the Superman mythology, but we definitely would not have been allowed to make that show and make those changes today, which is a real tragedy because I think if you look at the comics The history and these characters, is that they’re always evolving. They never stand still, and the idea that you have to [follow] certain classics actually leads to a stagnation of ideas. Some of these, apparently catcalls from the fandom that people probably listen to too much really, really lead to self-censorship and we’re still honored to have that moment where we’re actually free to do whatever we want It’s amazing and very liberating to do what you want.
You mentioned that James Gunn is writing the Young Superman movie right now. After writing about Clark Kent, do you have any advice for him year?
I won’t give James Gunn any suggestions. He doesn’t need our advice. He’s a great filmmaker. He doesn’t need our advice. He knows he knows what he’s doing. (laugh)
Whose youth story do you want to tell next?
Oh, this is interesting .
Millar: Well, we tried for a long time to get a young Miss Marple , maybe that influences the whodunnit element we have here, but as a character you see a lot, it’s certainly interesting. Something about whodunnits and mysteries is a great puzzle for writers to solve. So, I think it’s important to see how she evolves into the nosy old lady in Agatha Christie, which we’ve been talking about for a while.
Interview has been edited for length and clarity.