The original script for Tim Burton’s “Wednesday” was apparently a little too creepy, weird and downright weird for Netflix’s liking, according to series creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar.
In an IndieWire interview published Tuesday, the writers revealed that the streaming platform’s executives wanted to “cut a few lines” from the “Addams Family” spin-off starring Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams.
For example, the creators cited a scene in which Wednesday’s bubbly boarding school roommate Enid Sinclair (Emma Myers) encourages the troubled teenager to “take a stab at being sociable.” In her deep tone, Wednesday replies, “I like stabbing. The social side, not so much.”
Supposedly, Netflix didn’t like the “stabbing” line. But the writers stood their ground, and the violent joke ended up making the ending.
“That’s the point of the character,” Millar told IndieWire. “To lose that or dilute that is a betrayal of character.”
Gough added that the streaming giant was generally “always very supportive and the executives were big fans of ‘The Addams Family’.”
Co-directed and executive produced by Burton, “Wednesday” stars Ortega as the sharp-tongued gothic daughter of Gomez (Luis Guzmán) and Morticia Addams (Catherine Zeta-Jones). The rising scream queen earned rave reviews for her sardonic, unflinching portrayal of the criminal character — who embarks on a solo adventure at Nevermore Academy for Outcasts in the show’s first season, which began last Wednesday (of course).
Christina Ricci, who played the character Wednesday in the 1991 Addams Family movie, is also in the mix in a supporting role.
In previous “Addams Family” projects, Wednesday “was never really center stage,” Millar told IndieWire.
“Because of the ‘Harry Potter’ of it all [the question was] should he be in a regular school and then be a fish out of water?” He continued. “But he felt kind of one-note, and he’ll always have to come home at night to this family [we] I wanted to get rid of.”
On Tuesday, Netflix announced that “Wednesday” broke the platform’s record for the most hours watched in one week for an English-language show, with 341.2 million hours streamed. The spooky series debuted at No. 1 on the platform in 83 countries, tying the fourth season of “Stranger Things.”
Reviewing “Wednesday” for the Los Angeles Times, TV critic Lorraine Ali praised Ortega’s cool performance and called the hit series “brilliant on every level.”
“Ortega slays as a gifted, nihilistic teenager who’d rather hang out in a crypt than a club,” Ali writes. “She embodies Wednesday with her flat affectation and utter contempt for her peers. Her … zombie-like moves at the school dance to the tune of The Cramps’ ‘Goo Goo Muck’ — with a deadly face, no less — make for one of the top television moments of the year.”