Luis Guzmán stars as Gomez Addams in Tim Burton’s Wednesday series, but whether the actor’s appearance is an accurate look for the role is a source of contention. After originally being eyed to direct the 1990s Addams Family movies, Tim Burton is finally tackling the cooky characters in Netflix’s Wednesday. After debuting in a 1938 New Yorker cartoon, the Addams Family characters rose to popularity through a 1960s black-and-white sitcom. The show was later followed by the live-action movies The Addams Family and Addams Family Values, then a recent pair of animated films, and now Burton’s Wednesday-focused TV show.
Wednesday stars Scream‘s Jenny Ortega as the title character. The coming-of-age series follows Wednesday Addams as a high schooler at Nevermore Academy, where she’ll master her psychic powers and solve a supernatural mystery related to her own family. The cast additionally includes Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia, Isaac Ordonez as Pugsley, Victor Dorobantu as Thing, George Burcea as Lurch, and Luis Guzmán as Gomez. Ever since images were released of the actors appearing in costume for Wednesday, there has been a divisive response to Guzmán’s Gomez Addams casting.
Luis Guzmán is the third actor to tackle a major studio’s live-action portrayal of Gomez Addams, following John Astin in the 1960s sitcom and Raúl Juliá in the 1990s movies. The previous live-action Gomezes shared a similar look, which has led some to perceive Guzmán as a strange casting choice. Despite a surface difference, though, Wednesday’s casting of Guzmán is actually an exciting choice, and the new character design is completely accurate to the original cartoons – more so than Astin and Juliá. The depiction of Gomez in the Netflix series also reflects that of the animated movies from 2019 and 2021, which used Charles Addams’s original cartoons as inspiration rather than the 1960s show and 1990s movies.
Why Gomez’s Casting Is Perfect For Wednesday
Outside of Luis Guzmán simply being a brilliant casting choice, Wednesday’s Gomez Addams appearing with a physically different characterization from the previous actors is a great way for Tim Burton’s Addams Family show to avoid incessant comparisons to past live-action adaptations. Burton isn’t trying to make his own version of the 1990s duology, and distinct casting choices do better to get this point across to audiences. By using the original cartoons as inspiration for the character designs, Burton’s Wednesday offers a brand-new yet still familiar take on the beloved Addams Family characters that live-action adaptations have yet to depict.
Luis Guzmán also brings a significant charisma of his own to the screen, which will still elicit the lusty dynamic between Gomez and Morticia that every Addams Family adaptation has highlighted. The hairpiece atop Gomez’s head in Wednesday may look more bizarre than Astin and Juliá’s take on the character, but it’s the most faithful to the source material that a live-action Addams Family adaptation has ever been. Rather than another iteration of the Gomez and Morticia Addams that has been done several times before, Guzmán and Zeta-Jones will brilliantly bring to life the original vision for the iconic morbid married couple.