Wednesday creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar revealed the fascinating method they used to test the Christina Ricci twist in season 1. Based on the Addams Family characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams, Wednesday saw rising star Jenna Ortega assume the show’s titular role while Ricci joined the cast as Marilyn Thornhill, Nevermore Academy’s botany teacher and the secret descendant of Joseph Crackstone. Having previously played Wednesday Addams in 1991’s The Addams Family and its 1993 sequel, Ricci’s return to the franchise saw her assume the role of season 1’s main villain and the engineer of the monster attacks plaguing the town of Jericho.
Now the series creators Gough and Millar have revealed how they managed to test whether audiences would guess the show’s twist without spoiling Ricci’s surprise reveal. Speaking with IndieWire, the duo explained that they had initially screened the show for Millar’s teenage daughter and her friends to see whether they could figure out the main twist. Suggesting that Millar’s daughter had previously figured out the Vecna twist in Stranger Things season 4, the pair considered her and her friends a suitable litmus test to determine whether the show’s main culprit was too obvious. Check out their comments below:
Miles Millar: “We always thought that it was so obvious that Christina was the [villain] and that Tyler (Hunter Doohan) was the monster. It just seemed like ‘Of course! We knew it!’ But it was probably one of the most gratifying things about the show that a lot of people didn’t.”
Alfred Gough: “Miles had done an impromptu screening of all eight for his teenage daughter and a few of her friends. And they didn’t guess it. And then we were like, ‘We’re in the clear now,’ because she figures out mysteries. Like she figured out the Vecna piece in ‘Stranger Things’ really early.”
Miles Millar: “We had to get the seal of approval from teen girls who religiously watched ‘Criminal Minds’ and all the sort. Those girls are ruthless, checking logic.”
Why Wednesday Owes Its Success To Christina Ricci
After pulling in massive viewership numbers and being inundated with praise, Wednesday season 1 was an undisputed success story for Netflix. While much of the show’s appeal seemingly rests on the shoulders of Ortega’s widely acclaimed turn as the eldest Addams child, Ricci’s own involvement also played an important role in the show’s success. An eminently talented actor whose name is synonymous with the Addams Family franchise, Ricci’s involvement in the series served as a major drawcard for audience members who grew up with her Wednesday version.
While Ricci’s involvement in Wednesday season 1 was a definite boon for the series, Gough and Millar previously revealed that it almost did not happen. With Ricci pregnant at the time and committed to filming on Yellowjackets, the show’s production had to make significant adjustments to their shooting schedule to allow her to participate. Ultimately, however, it was a decision worth making, as her character would not have had anywhere near the same impact as another actor in the role.
With Wednesday expected to return for season 2, there are questions as to whether Ricci will reprise her role as the wicked Marilyn Thornhill. Though no official announcements have been made, Ricci has expressed her own desire to return to the character, and the season 1 finale left the door open for it to happen. With any luck, there is a chance to see more of Ricci when Wednesday season 2 returns on Netflix.