New THE ADDAMS FAMILY Teaser (And A Look At The Family Thus Far)
Yesterday, MGM dropped the poster and teaser trailer for the new The Addams Family film. It’s been eleven years since the kooky family has been seen in an on-screen adaptation, which was the less than beloved The Addams Family Reunion from 1998, and longer still since the macabre mix has been seen in theaters, with Addams Family Values in 1993.
That’s a long ass time.
The new animated take from MGM is truly stacked with talent. Behind our Gomez and Morticia, we have the white hot talent of Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron. Some true genre talent with Chloe Grace Moretz as Wednesday and Finn Wolfhard as Pugsley and rounding out the family with Nick Kroll as the electricity obsessed Uncle Fester. It’s one hell of an all star voice cast.
Find the new trailer below and then a brief synopsis of the Charles Addams creation below.
While the new movie is centered around the family as they fend off a greedy reality show producer while preparing a celebration for the extended family, the Family began as one panel comic strips debuting in 1938, finding their home in The New Yorker and continued until Charles Addams death in 1988. In 1964, ABC decided to bring the live action adaptation to life with The Addams Family, now infamous especially for the portrayal of the adults, with the parents played by John Astin and Carolyn Jones and Fester by Jackie Coogan. The show only ran for two seasons, with a reunion special in 1977, but made it’s stamp on pop culture with it’s embrace of the off beat and weird.
1972 would see the family with their inaugural animated appearance, popping up with Scooby-Doo and gang in Hanna-Barbera’s run of Scooby Doo films that saw Mystery Inc. meeting various pop culture icons. Batman, the Harlem Globetrotters, and yes, The Addams. Four of the central cast members lent their voices to the tv film and fans received it well, pushing Hanna-Barbera to give them an animated series of their own.
Before their departure into the land of cartoons, however, ABC was trying to buy in on the variety show madness and had a pilot produced for The Addams Family Fun-House, starring and written by Jack Riley and Liz Torres. It was pitched as a live-action musical weekly show and never got picked up for series. It’s damn near impossible to find and even scant stills exist of the project.
Although this iteration didn’t find footing, Hanna-Barbera did produce an entire season of the cartoon for NBC making it the third network the family had found a home with (the original series on ABC and the Scooby-Doo movie on CBS.) While Coogan returned as Fester and even Lurch actor and Ted Cassidy added their voices to the series, and a young Jodie Foster appeared as Pugsley. It portrayed adventures of the Addams traveling cross country in a Victorian RV and ran for two years, although the “second season” was just re-runs of the first.
Eleven years after the end of the original series run, NBC aired a Halloween special. Entitled Halloween With the New Addams Family. While the Addams are definitely never normal, things definitely go off the rails in this special. Gomez and Morticia have had two more children, Puglsey Jr and Wedneday Jr and the family is being visited by Gomez’s brother Pancho. Pugsley lives in Nairobi training to be a witch doctor while Wednesday attends music academy studying piccolo. WHAT?! It wasn’t terribly well-received and to this day doesn’t exist on any format other than a rare VHS from 1989.
In 1991, Paramount Pictures produced the now infamous The Addams Family film. Directed by Barry Sonnenfield in his film directorial debut (he would go on to do Men in Black) the film was once again chockfull of talent. Born to play the role, Raul Julia took on the role of the lusty, cigar smoking Gomez while Anjelica Huston played the lead matriarch with a poise and perfection that was is still mesmerizing to watch. Eccentric wild man Christopher Lloyd handled the enigmatic Uncle Fester and every goth in the world fell in love with Christina Ricci in her role as Wednesday Addams. It would go on to pull in nearly 200 million dollars off a fairly high-for-the-time 30 million dollar production budget.
Following the rousing success of the film, NBC took another crack at a cartoon with The Addams Family: The Animated Series. John Astin, the original Gomez, returned for the role while Rip Taylor, Carol Channing and famous voice actor Jim Cummings would help round out the rest of the cast. It blended the original styles of the characters with the more modified versions seen in the film and would run two seasons before, as prior, would run a “third season” full of reruns.
1993 would see Paramount looking to see if lightning could strike twice and Addams Family Values was produced, with the original cast returning and the addition of Jane Cussack as a murderous “black widow” killer, While it received a slight uptick in reviews, it did not commercially pan out nearly as well as the first. Against a 48 million dollar production cost, it only pulled in 49 million, just breaking even. This is what would eventually lead to the sixteen year drought between theater goings.
In 1998, we got two different iterations of the Addams, the last we would see until Halloween of this year. One was the straight-to-video The Addams Family Reunion, which expanded upon the idea of Wednesday and Pugsley being plopped into a “normal people” situation and saw the Addams go to a summer beach resort for the wrong family reunion. Although Tim Curry and Darryl Hannah played Gomez and Morticia, respectively, the movie was created originally as a potential pilot and reboot to the series, but was critically panned. Development problems ran rampant as director Dave Payne had hoped to give the series a dark and edgy tone but Saban insisted upon the comedy and goofiness of a children’s movie.
The last bit of Addams we would get was also in 1998, from the Fox Family Channel, a Canadian made live action sitcom, The New Addams Family. Surprisingly, John Astin made some guest appearances as Granpda Addams throughout the singular season. The show was well received, with some direct ties into The Addams Family Reunion, and took an almost more Looney Tunes violent approach with the children but ended after the first season
With scattered success, one thing is for sure: The Addams Family has existed for eighty plus years and doesn’t look to be going anywhere soon.