EXCLUSIVE: In what would mark his first major live-action TV series, Tim Burton is setting his sights on The Addams Family, looking to develop a new series focused on the famous clan. Sources tell Deadline that Burton is negotiating to executive produce and possibly direct all episodes of this new take on the franchise. Smallville developers/executive producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar will be head writers on the show and serve as showrunners as well as exec producers along with Burton.
MGM TV, which controls underlying rights to the IP, financed the development of the series. As of right now, the package has multiple buyers bidding for it, including Netflix, which sources say is at the top of the list of landing the project.
While not confirmed, sources say the new live-action series would be set in present times and be from the perspective of Wednesday Addams and what the world would look like to her in 2020.
The tale of The Addams Family, a fictional household created by American cartoonist Charles Addams in 1938, has had a number of screen iterations over the years including two live-action TV series; a film franchise starring Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston and Christopher Lloyd; and most recently an animated movie from MGM with the sequel dropping in 2021.
The pairing of Burton and The Addams Family would be a perfect fit as the dark themes of the spooky clan line up so perfectly with what you see in classic Burton films like Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands. Burton clearly has interest in series with dark comedic themes, having also adapted the ’70s series Dark Shadows into a feature film starring Johnny Depp.
Burton previously developed and executive produced the animated series Beetlejuice, loosely based on his 1988 movie, which ran for four seasons from 1989-91. He had been focused on features over the past two decades but, with the industry constantly changing and so many A-list directors venturing into TV, it makes sense that Burton would make a return to the medium and embark on live-action series — and The Addams Family seems to be the perfect vehicle for that.
As for Millar and Gough, the two are no strangers to developing hit TV series as they were key components to the success of the long-running Superman series Smallville. Other big credits include the Shanghai Noon franchise and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2.
WME reps Burton and Gendler & Kelly reps Gough and Millar.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.