Over the past several months, Jenna Ortega has appeared in several of the year’s buzziest horror films. 2022 kicked off with her breakout role in the long-awaited return of the Scream franchise, and since then, we’ve seen her in the Foo Fighters-starring Studio 666, the undocumented immigrant thriller American Carnage, and of course, Ti West’s creepy ode to the adult film industry X. But if you thought Ortega was done exploring genre fare for now, you’d be wrong. On the contrary, the young actress seems more than ready to solidify her reputation as The Next Great Spooky Muse by taking her talents to the small-screen as the titular lead in Wednesday, Netflix’s new series about a high school-aged Wednesday Addams.
Described in a plot synopsis as a “sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery,” the coming-of-age comedy charts “Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore Academy, where she attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorized the local town, and solve the murder mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago — all while navigating her new and very tangled relationships at Nevermore.” In a first-look at the show, Vanity Fair adds that “the mystery of the series is a number of murders that plague the small town where Wednesday has been sent to attend a prestigious boarding school for outcasts.”
Created by Smallville masterminds Miles Millar and Alfred Gough, Wednesday has assembled a stacked crew to bring everything to life. In addition to Ortega, there is also Chicago’s Oscar-winning Catherine Zeta-Jones as mother Morticia Addams, Boogie Nights’ Luis Guzmán as father Gomez Addams, and A Wrinkle in Time’s Isaac Ordonez as little brother Pugsley Addams.
Rounding out the cast is Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie as Principal Larissa Seems, Yellowjackets’ Christina Ricci as Marilyn Thornhill, Gone Girl’s Jamie McShane as Sheriff Galpin, The Gifted’s Percy Hynes White as Xavier Thorpe, Your Honor’s Hunter Doohan as Tyler Galpin, Girl in the Basement’s Emma Myers as Enid Sinclair, Dear White People’s Joy Sunday as Bianca Barclay, Skylines’ Naomi j Ogawa as Yoko Tanaka, The Last Bus’ Moosa Mostafa as Eugene Ottinger, Evermoor’s Georgie Farmer as Ajax Petropolus, and Knives Out’s Riki Lindhome as Dr. Valerie Kinbott.
And if that’s not enough to sell you, then the news that the God of Goth himself, Tim Burton, directed four of the new show’s eight episodes (including the pilot) should pique your interest.
But don’t take my word for it — just watch the promising new trailer.
Opening with Wednesday at her public high school (hilariously, named after Nancy Reagan), the new teaser appropriately sets the scene. After attending eight different schools over the course of five years, it’s clear that Wednesday is not fit for a “normal” educational institution. It’s exactly why, after learning that her brother had been “tortured” by members of the swim team, Wednesday decides to stop by their practice to unleash two huge bags of flesh-hungry piranhas into their pool. “I did the world a favor,” she calmly says in voiceover as the swimmers scatter towards safety. “People like Dalton shouldn’t be allowed to procreate.” (We’re led to believe the piranha attacked his nether regions.) “Getting expelled was just a bonus.”
The expulsion, naturally, leads Wednesday to her new home at Nevermore Academy, which her father Gomez gleefully describes as a “magical place” his daughter will no doubt grow to love. “Finally, you will be among peers who understand you,” adds her mother Morticia. “Maybe you’ll even make some friends.” And as it turns out, they were right. “Little did I know I was stepping into a nightmare, full of mystery, mayhem, and murder,” Wednesday says excitedly after enrolling at her future alma mater. “I think I’m going to love it here.” I think I just might too!
Check out the trailer for Wednesday, which hits Netflix Wednesday, November 23rd.