We were first introduced to Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Grandmama, Wendesday, Pugsley and Thing in 1938 where they appeared in The New Yorker as a series of cartoons by Charles Addams.
In the mid 60s The Addams Family lasted for two seasons as a sitcom and then two more as a Saturday morning cartoon in the 70s. Clearly the quirky family didn’t have the same success on-screen as they did in comic form.
Then, after Charles Addams passed in 1988, the cartoons even stopped.
That’s when in 1991, we got The Addams Family movie which brought the pale family to the cinema. While craziness happened on screen, even more happened off-screen. Check out these things you may have not known about the movie.
1. The idea to bring back The Addams Family came from a car ride.
When Scott Rudin, who was the head of production at 20th Centrury Fox, was riding in a van with other company executives and everyone randomly started singing The Addams Family theme, he knew he had to do something about it.
The next day Rudin pitched the movie, and they went for it!
2. MC Hammer wrote an award-winning song for the movie.
If you saw the movie in its first few weeks in theaters, you would have seen the music video for The Addams Groove play before the film. The final track on Too Legit to Quit would end up being MC Hammer’s last visit to the top 10 of the Billboard singles charts in the United States. He also won the 1991 Golden Raspberry for Worst Original Song.
And it earned it.
3. Anthony Hopkins turned down a role in the movie.
Hopkins was offered the role of Fester, but turned it down to play Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. Sean Connery was initially offered the role, but Hopkins ended up with the part. It was a good thing too, because he won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance.
4. Tim Burton was supposed to direct.
After working with Addams Family screenwriters Caroline Thompson and Larry Wilson on previous project he opted to not take the job. More recently he was rumored to be a part of a 3D stop-motion animated Addams Family movie, but then announced he was off the project.
5. The director fainted during shooting.
Only three weeks into directing the film, Barry Sonnenfeld, who was first-time director, was talking to a studio executive about the budget. Sonnenfeld then felt a “tremendous pressure” in his chest, “as if someone was blowing up a balloon inside me,” then he passed out. He also had to deal with sciatica during filming and had to shut down production for several days when his wife needed major surgery across the country.
6. A series of unfortunate events
On set, it seemed like they couldn’t catch a break. Owen Roizman, the movies cinematographer left to work on another movie shortly after Sonnenfeld’s fainting incident. His replacement, Galy Tattersoll also had to have production stopped for a few days when she was hospitalized for a sinus infection. She never returned to the set.
7. A 10-year-old lead a rebellion on set
The actors were concerned about the ambiguity of the big Fester storyline in the script. The actors then nominated Wednesday Addams, played by 10-year-old Christina Ricca, to give an impassioned plea to Rudin and Sonnenfeld insisting that Fester should not be an imposter. The only actor who didn’t care was Christopher Lloyd, who played Fester.
8. Anjelica Huston had to go through a lot to get into character.
Cher was interested in playing Morticia, but Huston was the producer’s first pick.
”Morticia has a shape only a cartoonist can draw,” Sonnenfeld told Entertainment Weekly, ”so we lashed Anjelica into a metal corset that created this hips-and-waist thing I’ve never seen any woman have in reality.”
Huston was also required to get gauze eye lifts, neck tucks and fake nails, every day. “Come afternoon, I could be prone to a really good headache from my various bondages,” she told EW. ”And because I couldn’t lie down (in the corset) or rest, it was fairly exhausting.”
9. During filming the movie was sold.
Orion Pictures had the rights to The Addams Family and initially were the ones responsible for financing and releasing the movie. Three quarters of the way through filming, Rudin was informed that Orion had sold the movie to Paramount.
10. The studios were sued when the movie came out.
Executive producer of the old Addams Family TV series, David Levy, sued Paramount and Orion after the movie was released with surprising commercial success. Levy claimed that too many of his ideas were used in the movie. Levy had come up with ideas such as Gomez’s love of blowing up toy trains, the Thing being a disembodied hand, instead of a normal background character like he was in the cartoons. The studio and Levy settled it out of court.
Inspiration: Mental Floss