The first week of June was huge for horror; in addition to the release of Hereditary and the trailer for Blumhouse’s Halloween, we got news that Nate Atkins will be writing Peter Block’s Pumpkinhead reboot plus a ton of teasers for last week’s E3 Conference in Los Angeles. And, somewhere in the thick of it all, word came down the pike announcing a new Addams Family reboot.
MGM is moving full steam ahead on an animated Addams Family movie that will be voice by Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Bette Midler and Allison Janney. Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon will co-direct from a screenplay scribed by Matt Lieberman; a target release date has been set for October 11, 2019.
Related Article: MGM Confirms Animated ADDAMS FAMILY Feature Coming in 2019!
As a kid-friendly series with supernatural themes and subversive elements, The Addams Family may have served as a gateway for future horror fans. Wednesday Addams has become a Goth icon, and the passionate relationship between Gomez and Morticia is one of the world’s greatest romances. Is it any wonder the series has seen so many reinterpretations, including 2 feature films that are essential 1990s viewing?
With The Addams about to be thrust back into the limelight, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore some lesser-known facts about horror’s happiest family. Have a look at 10 kooky, spooky, ooky facts below and let us know what you think in the Comments section!
The Addams Family Origin Story
The Addams Family was created by illustrator Charles Addams who published a total of 150 single-paneled cartoons between 1938 and 1988 (the year he passed away); more than half were published in The New Yorker. Addams created The Addams Family as a foil to the stereotypical American family, a clan of morbid socialites who don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks of them. The new animated Addams Family movie in the works is clearly taking influence from the cartoonist’s original designs. Take a look at many of Addams’ original cartoons in the video below.
The Addams Family on Small Screens
The Addams Family comic strip was first adapted into a television series by ABC in 1964; it wrapped in 1966 after 64 episodes. The Addams next appeared animated in Hanna-Barbera’s 3rdThe New Scooby-Doo Movie (Scooby-Doo Meets the Addams Family” [a.k.a. Wednesday is Missing]) as well as an episode of the syndicated show in 1972. The TV Show’s original leads (John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Jackie Coogan, and Ted Cassidy) all voiced their corresponding characters. Next came The Addams Family Fun-House, a musical variety show which ran for a single season on ABC in 1973. The Addams Family got their own cartoon in 1973; it ran for 2 seasons on NBC. Halloween with the New Addams Family was a made-for-TV movie that featured a reunion of the original TV show’s main cast (minus Blossom Rock, who had played Grandmama). The next television adaptations were a rebooted animated series that ran on ABC between 1992 and 1993 and a Canadian live-action reboot which ran from 1998-1999 (and, ironically, racked up more shows than the original series by exactly 1 episode–65 total). Finally, in 1998, there was a live-action, made-for-TV Reunion called (fittingly) Addams Family Reunion.
Do you know about the Pennywise’s connection to The Addams Family?
Actors who played Gomez Addams are (chronologically), John Astin (Sean Astin’s adoptive father); Jack Riley took over on The Addams Family Fun-House; Lennie Weinrib was Gomez in the 1st animated series, and Glenn Taranto was Canadian Gomez. After Raúl Juliá made the character iconic in the feature films The Addams Family and Addams Family Values (in 1991 and 1993 respectively), Tim Curry (1990’s Pennywise in the miniseries IT) took a swing at the role in Addams Family Reunion, the made-for-TV Film which aired in 1998.
Addams of the Corn
In The Addams Family and Addams Family Values, the character of Cousin Itt is played by John Franklin. Horror fans may remember him best as the murderous child-prophet and cult leader in 1984’s Children of the Corn. Franklin reprised the role that made him famous in 1999’s laughable/disastrous Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return.
As a young actress, Christina Ricci played Wednesday Addams in the feature films The Addams Family and Addams Family Values, inspiring a new generation of Goth Girls. In 2015, an image of a now-grown-up Ricci in full Morticia garb went viral, inspiring millions to exclaim “Cara mia!” The resemblance to Angelica Houston’s Morticia was uncanny, and a neckline that plummeted to the navel combined with Ricci’s smoldering “come hither” expression melted hearts.
Unfortunately, most of those who shared and re-tweeted the image never got the follow-up news: the picture’s a phony. That actually is Houston’s body with Ricci’s head on top. It’s still a stunning image.
The Eyes of Angelica Houston
Angelica Houston and the make-up artists who worked on the two Addams Family feature films went to great lengths to give Morticia the perfect bedroom eyes. In order to achieve a slightly slanted look, FX artists attached string to the corners of her eyes with spirit gum; the ends were then anchored to the back of her head. Now that’s ooky!
The Addams Family vs The Munsters
Inevitably, The Addams Family gets compared to The Munsters with, “Which show did you prefer?” being a common topic for genre aficionados. Part of the reason that the shows are so thoroughly intertwined is that both aired concurrently between 1964 and 1966. The perceived competitiveness between the two macabre families could stem from the fact that, in 1965, The Munsters was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series; they didn’t win, but The Addams Family never even got a nomination. The Munsters also consistently beat The Addams Family in the Nielsen ratings.
The Addams Family Evicted from The New Yorker
Though The Addams Family comic debut and ran for most of its existence in The New Yorker, the magazine evicted the macabre bunch when it was adapted into a TV series. At the time, the editors wanted a more highbrow publication, something containing works of art and literature that couldn’t be seen in mass-media; television, especially, was considered drivel. Ironically, the publication ran non-Addams Family cartoons by Charles Addams during this embargo; also, The Addams Family was welcomed back when Charles Addams retired from Hollywood in 1987. Unfortunately, he died the very next year in 1988.
The Lurch Dance Craze
A mega-viral gif of original Wednesday Adams (Lisa Loring) dancing with original Lurch (Ted Cassidy) is a sure-fire way to chase away the blues in the Internet Age, but Lurch’s moves made waves back in the 1960s as well. The character was so popular, he cut a record. The Lurch was a minor hit in 1965, and the corresponding music video (below) attempted to launch the next great dance craze. If it had caught on, we might all be doing The Lurch instead of The Twist!
The Addams Family Musical
In addition to the many incarnations of The Addams Family that have been broadcast across airways and flashed on silver screens, an Addams Family musical was a smash on Broadway in 2010 and 2011. That production featured Nathan Lane as Gomez and Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia. The Addams Family musical is currently touring Europe with a new cast. You can check out some of the hilarity in the video below.