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What To Remember About The Addams Family Before Netflix's Wednesday

They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, altogether ooky ... and they're coming to Netflix. Well, sort of. The streaming platform will release a spin-off of "The Addams Family" about their devious darling daughter, Wednesday.

Aptly titled "Wednesday," the eight-part series is described by Netflix as a "sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery" that follows the eldest daughter as she attends Nevermore Academy to hone her psychic skills. While there, she investigates a mystery from 25 years ago that involved her parents.

The series will be directed by the master of quirky horror Tim Burton, while Jenna Ortega will star as Wednesday, and her parents, Morticia and Gomez, will be portrayed by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán. It's not yet known which other members of the family will appear.

The release date of "Wednesday" is still unknown, but given the haunting story, it would be a perfect October 2022 release. Until then, what should viewers remember about the iconic macabre family?

Two-dimensional beginnings

While the close-knit Addams family is best known from the 1990s movies, the characters were created by cartoonist Charles Addams in 1938. At the time, no one could've predicted that the comedic series of one-panel cartoons would become a wildly successful franchise.

Despite going unnamed during their initial run, the Addams family members were celebrated for being a clever satire of the traditional American nuclear family. This wealthy group of misfits revels in the most absurd oddities, unfazed by the outside world's opinions of their lifestyle while still conforming to the most basic familial stereotypes. 

Because of the work's dark nature, many people assumed that Addams was just as ghastly. He leaned into these assumptions, toying with reporters with a deadpan sense of humor. "I like to think I've formed some terrible people," he once told a reporter. "Won't people love to hear that I'm just a normal American boy?"

The Addams Family adaptations

While casual viewers may be most familiar with the Barry Sonnenfeld movies, the family has appeared in various media forms since their inception: TV shows, made-for-TV movies, animated series, cartoon crossovers, animated movies, musicals, video games, live-action movies, books, and the "best-selling pinball game of all time" – they've done it all.

Following the success of the creepy cartoons, the characters were first brought to life in a 1964 ABC sitcom created by David Levy. The series often drew comparisons to "The Munsters," another satirical suburban sitcom about an oddball family. The first of many iterations of the characters, the TV show is a jumping-off point for later adaptations.

Despite the many adaptations, arguably the most iconic portrayals of the Addams family are the movies with Christina Ricci, Anjelica Huston, and Raul Julia. Every Halloween, fans still don braids, widow's peaks, dresses with Peter Pan collars, and a perpetual frown à la Ricci's Wednesday. "The Addams Family" (1991) and "Addams Family Values" (1993) are still in rotation on popular networks every October. The characters have taken on many evolutions over the years, but the latest project from Burton could add even more twists.

In fact, the upcoming "Wednesday" series isn't the first time Burton has been involved with the Addams family. He was in talks to direct an animated stop-motion film in 2010, but the project was canceled in 2013. With plenty of time to mull over the characters, who knows what the director will bring to the Netflix series.