It All Started With A Simple Melody
Even though the classic 60s TV series is revered as somewhat of a cult classic these days, the program never really captured the same kind of audience that The Munsters did. Once the series faded into oblivion, all that was left in our collective memories was the show’s memorable theme music composed by Vic Mizzy.
Of course, that all changed when the franchise was brought back from the dead with the 1991 film. In fact, that film was the result of sheer happenstance. A bunch of Orion studio execs were all in a van together when the chief marketing executive, Tom Sherak’s son started singing the Addams Family theme song.
The next day, producer Scott Rudin met with Barry Diller, one of the studio’s chiefs, and discussed the possibility of resurrecting the series as a film. Diller loved the idea and then and there it was greenlit.
Tim Burton Had Nothing To Do With The Films
There is a pervasive misremembering of the facts that likes to lump Tim Burton into the production of The Addams Family movies in one way or another. In fact, he had nothing to do with films. In truth, the Barry Sonnenfeld directed films probably were in part inspired by some of Burton’s style, but the man behind Edward Scissorhands and A Nightmare Before Christmas is not a credited crew member nor was he anywhere to be seen during production of any of the movies.
Terry Gilliam, who worked on the Monty Python films and directed the quirky films Brazil and Time Bandits was considered for the directorial position for the films but Sonnefield ultimately was the one who scored the job. He went on to direct Big starring Tom Hanks and When Harry Met Sally.
Cher Could Have Played Morticia
Rudin confirmed this fact in an interview with EW where he revealed that the singer was indeed very interested in the role but she was never really considered for the part. It seems Anjelica Huston was always destined to play Morticia.
Even though she didn’t clinch the role, Cher has certainly shown her talents as a legitimate actress. She made a cameo on the sitcom Will & Grace back in the day and played Tess in Burlesque. She also gave a pretty incredible performance in Moonstruck and then another counter Christina Ricci in Mermaids.
Carol Kane Managed To Make Her Way Into The Sequel
Best known for her unnerving portrayal of Lillian Kaushtupper from the Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Carol Kane fit in perfectly with the cast of Addams Family Values.
Instead of casting the original actress Judith Malina for the miner part of Morticia’s mother Grandma Addams, Kane landed the part regardless of the fact that she was actually 11 months younger than Anjelica Houston.
Addams Family Values Was One Of Raul Julia’s Final Films
Unfortunately, Julia was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1991 and passed away not too long afterward at the age of 54. The on-screen chemistry between his character Gomez and Morticia was undeniable, so when he died it was just another reason why the third film Addams Family Reunion was doomed to be a flop. That being said, Tim Curry’s portrayal of Gomez may have been one of the only redeeming features of the ill-fated direct-to-video sequel.
The Sister Act Connection
Rudin and screenwriter Paul Rudnick had worked together on Sister act back in 1987 – although Rudnick chose to be credited as Joseph Howard citing creative differences as being the motivating factor for the move.
Once production began on The Addams Family film, Rudin called upon Rudnick to do an overhaul on the movie’s script – having seen his expertise in action a few years prior.
Following the success of the first film, Rudnick was retained to ensure that the script for Addams Family Values reflected the vision and tone of the first film. Along with Rudnick’s writing, Sonnenfeld’s directing, and a reunited cast, the sequel in many ways outshone the original.
If you’re enjoying this video so far, make sure you give it a like and subscribe to our channel, and stay tuned to find out what The Addams Family has to do with Michael Jackson…..wait, the Addam’s family has something to do with Michael Jackson?
There Really Weren’t Any Boundaries
There was very little that had to be cut to maintain the first film’s PG-13 rating. Morbid jokes involving the killing of babies, grotesque gags that employed the aid of guillotines and heavy sexual innuendo abound. There seemed to be no limits. The Addams Family film was very much so a dark comedy and as such, it pulled all the punches with seemingly unrestrained ghastly glee. You could get away with a lot of that kind of thing back in the 90s. Adult humor was perfectly interlaced with references that kids could also enjoy – fun for the whole family!
Christopher Lloyd Was A Big Fan Of Fester Before He Landed The Role
He grew up reading the Charles Addams comic strip and Uncle Fester was always his most loved character. Whenever The New Yorker came in the mail he’d always eagerly open it up hoping Fester would be featured, so when he got the part years later he was absolutely overjoyed at the opportunity to play one of his childhood favorites.
But Lloyd also feared that he wouldn’t be able to live up to the character that he for years had idolized. Not only that, but he also was uncertain that he would be able to embody the role because of his lanky physique.
Christopher had just wrapped up playing Doc Brown in the Back To The Future trilogy, and he was concerned that he wouldn’t be the right fit to provide Fester with the right voice and attitude to properly capture what Charles Addams had envisioned, but alas, he nailed the part and became one of the standout cast members in the films.
Lloyd Had To Adapt To Fill The Role
Uncle Fester is a short and rotund man and Christopher Lloyd is tall and skinny. So, how was he going to be able to adapt himself to play the character he was anatomically at odds with?
Lloyd clearly had to adapt himself if he hoped to accurately play the Uncle Fester character that he had so much respect for. No CGI was used for the effect. In fact, Lloyd resorted to a very simple technique to pull it off. All he did was bend his knees to give himself a stumpier look. It actually worked out for his benefit in another way. Because he had to keep his legs bent all the time, it gave him a peculiar stride that only added to his character’s curious aesthetic.
Anjelica Huston Had A Hard Time On Set
The actress was already on the petite side but she was crammed into a tiny little corset before filming each day. Her eyes would then be pulled back using an adhesive facial prosthetic to give her signature narrow-eyed look. To top it off, she would spend hours in hair and makeup each day to give her that pale unearthly glow. All of that makeup and prosthesis was very hot. Days on set would stretch on for many hours and because of the corset, she couldn’t lie down to rest. But that didn’t stop her from pouring all of her heart and soul into her acting – which she arguably gave some of the finest performances in the films.
A Long And Grueling Legal Battle
Copyright battles aren’t anything new in Hollywood. In 1992, David Levy held the rights to the original 1960s television series and made the decision to take Paramount to court. He demanded that they pay him a sum of money in the amount of $50 million.
Charles Addams hadn’t named the characters that he created so Levy claimed that he had given the characters unique attributes that he felt like he should be credited and compensated for. To top that off, he touted that he was the sole creator of the characters Thing, the disembodied hand, and Cousin It.
After a long and winding legal battle, both Paramount and Levy settled things out of court. It does beg to question whether Levy would have pursued the suit if The Addams Family hadn’t been the unexpected commercial success that it was.
The Uncle Fester – Godfather Connection
Not only did Christopher Lloyd wear a bunch of makeup and squat to play the rotund and stout Uncle Fester, but he also wore a fat suit to step into the role. The bodysuit that he wore actually came from the prop department of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather Part II.
Bruno Kirby first donned the suit when he played Pete Clemenza who aptly was nicknamed ‘Fat’ in the classic gangster film. You can’t blame Lloyd for not wanting to actually gain the weight just to play the character – no matter how well he ended up executing the part.
Okay, we’re going to wrap this video up by talking about Michael Jackson’s bizarre horror-themed song ‘Is it Scary’ which was penned for The Adamms Family Values soundtrack. Rudnick recalls that Michael had completed the music video for the cheesy track when accusations came out that alleged Jackson’s sexual transgressions. Suddenly the studio wanted to distance themselves as far as possible away from the troubled pop star. The tune would eventually be released on Jackson’s ‘Blood on the Dance Floor’ remix album instead and all associations between the film and Jackson were quickly brushed under the rug.
Do you think they did the right thing by cutting ties with Jackson or do you think that should have gone ahead and included the track in the soundtrack anyways? Let us know what you think in the comments section.
And if you’ve enjoyed this video, then give us a like and subscribe to our channel. Tap the bell icon to turn on notifications so you can keep up with all of our latest facts-packed videos.