Thora Birch’s time working on the upcoming Netflix series Wednesday has come to an end, Deadline reports. The American Beauty star (more recently known for her work on AMC’s The Walking Dead and the A24 film The Last Black Man in San Francisco) has left the Tim Burton-helmed production for personal reasons, thought to be a family illness. A representative for MGM, the producers of the series, said in a statement, “Thora has returned to the States to attend to a personal matter and will not be returning to the production.”
The series, which is currently shooting in Romania, will be a live-action telling of the ooky and kooky Addams Family, with a focus on the goth teenage daughter Wednesday Addams, who is being portrayed by Jenna Ortega. The show will follow the macabre-obsessed girl as she attends Nevermore Academy and the hijinks she gets into along the way.
Sources are reporting that Birch has wrapped up most of her filming for her portrayal of Wednesday’s dorm overseer Tamara Novak. The character of Tamara is said to be the only “normie” working at the Academy, with her area of expertise in botanical studies. Despite Birch’s departure, production is not planning to recast the role of Tamara but will instead create a new character for at least the show’s first season. At this time, it’s unclear whether that means that the new character will finish out any of the plot left unfinished with Birch’s role, therefore having both characters appear in the series, or if the newly created character will act as a substitute for Tamara and reshoot what has already been filmed.
Wednesday is penned by Al Gough and Miles Millar, best known for their work creating the hit series Smallville, with the iconic Burton serving as director for the new series. Burton, Millar, and Gough will serve as the show’s executive producers, with Gough and Millar also working as showrunners. Filling out the executive production team are Kayla Alpert, Steve Stark, Andrew Mittman under the 1.21 productions banner, Jonathan Glickman with Glickmania, Gail Berman, and Kevin Miserocchi.
Joining Ortega in the upcoming star-studded, mischievous and spooky series will be Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia Addams and Luis Guzmán as Gomez Addams.
While we are sad to hear that Birch won’t be rounding out her time in Season 1 of Wednesday, we are excited to hear what will be happening with the storyline and if the star will come back to the series should there be a Season 2. No release date has yet been announced.