Tim Burton’s live-action Addams Family Netflix series, Wednesday, has had a casting reshuffle, as Thora Birch has had to leave for personal reasons. Jenna Ortega stars as Wednesday and Birch plays a teacher at the academy that she attends.
Catherine Zeta-Jones plays Morticia and Luis Guzman plays Gomez in the spin-off of the beloved TV and film series. Gwendoline Christie has also been cast as the principal of Nevermore Academy, who is potentially the villain of the piece.
“Thora has returned to the States to attend to a personal matter and will not be returning to the production,” a rep for series producer MGM said in a statement to Deadline.
Birch had reportedly finished filming the bulk of her series regular role as Tamara Novak, Wednesday’s dorm mother and the only “normie” on staff at Nevermore Academy with a focus on all things botanical.
The role will not be recast, but the producers are reportedly looking to add a new character who will have what is presumably a similar mentorship role to Wednesday.
The coming-of-age comedy, written by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar and directed by Burton, is described as a sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery. Ortega will be playing a teenaged version of Wednesday, who was of course, iconically played by Christina Ricci in the ’90s films, starting when she was 10 years old.
Thora Birch was herself, a child actress in the 1990s (like Ricci). She starred in Patriot Games and Clear & Present Danger as Harrison Ford’s daughter, as well as Hocus Pocus. As a teen, she graduated to roles in American Beauty (1999), The Hole (2001) and Ghost World (2001). She recently appeared in The Walking Dead as Gamma, a recurring character.
We don’t know when Wednesday will be released, but if you’re looking for a creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky time to tide you over, check out our guide to the best Netflix horror movies.