Wednesday creators take us inside Nevermore Academy

·3 min read

It couldn't be a Tim Burton project without a wacky tree.

EW has an exclusive look at some of the sets involved in Netflix's upcoming Wednesday series, and in true Addams Family fashion, there's a lot of dark, twisted detail. Created by Miles Millar and Alfred Gough — with Burton directing four of the season's eight episodes — Wednesday follows a teenage Wednesday Addams (played by Jenna Ortega) as she attends Nevermore Academy, the very school where her parents once met. And speaking of Nevermore, we had Millar and Gough break down the design of the quad, where that wacky tree lives.

"There are lots of Easter eggs and lots of detail," Millar says. "At one point, we had 30 different artists making different statues and gargoyles and elements. So in the quad, we have eight beautifully rendered gargoyles. And if you look at the arches, they're actually designed as almost open mouth monsters in terms of the jaws. So much detail and so much thought has gone into every aspect of every set in terms of the color choices, the Easter eggs and also the sense of aging as well, really making sure that everything felt that it had been there for centuries. Nothing should feel new. Nothing should feel like it's store bought. It all has to have a patina of age."

And yes, Millar adds, "Tim designed the tree."

Wednesday. (L to R) Georgie Farmer as Ajax Petropolus, Percy Hynes White as Xavier Thorpe, Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams, Emma Myers as Enid Sinclair, Naomi j Ogawa as Yoko Tanaka, Oliver Watson as Kent, Joy Sunday as Bianca Barclay, Johnna Dias-Watson as Divina in episode 103 of Wednesday. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Wednesday. (L to R) Georgie Farmer as Ajax Petropolus, Percy Hynes White as Xavier Thorpe, Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams, Emma Myers as Enid Sinclair, Naomi j Ogawa as Yoko Tanaka, Oliver Watson as Kent, Joy Sunday as Bianca Barclay, Johnna Dias-Watson as Divina in episode 103 of Wednesday. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Netflix The quad at Nevermore Academy on 'Wednesday'

With all this talk of Easter eggs, let's get specific. "In the reflecting pool under the tree, there is a statue of Ophelia," Millar continues. "So you see this figure who's semi-submerged. So that's something for people to look out for because you see it, but you don't quite know what it is."

Moving inside, we have Wednesday's dorm room. "We love the idea of her being in this attic space," Millar says. "So it feels very Gothic because of rafters."

The focal point of the room is a spider web design on a stained glass window, and one that shows a clear separation between Wednesday and her roommate Enid (Emma Myers). "The window was in the script," Gough says. "We really wanted to differentiate between Enid and Wednesday. So it felt like it was a great way to visually represent one side of the room and the other side of the room."

Wednesday. (L to R) Emma Myers as Enid Sinclair, Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in episode 101 of Wednesday. Cr. Vlad Cioplea/Netflix © 2022
Wednesday. (L to R) Emma Myers as Enid Sinclair, Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in episode 101 of Wednesday. Cr. Vlad Cioplea/Netflix © 2022

Vlad Cioplea/Netflix Emma Myers and Jenna Ortega on 'Wednesday'

As for how the visuals clue us in to Wednesday and Enid's dynamic, Gough says, "Wednesday goes to boarding school and she's rooming with a girl who's really the opposite of her. Enid obviously loves color, loves k-pop, is very friendly, is bright and bouncy. Enid is really a counterpoint to Wednesday, but I think their relationship throughout the season is one of the more fun aspects of the show for us."

When asked if Wednesday has anything on her walls, Millar responds, "She actually has a framed tarantula." Sounds about right.

But Wednesday does have at least one other piece of decor. "She has a gramophone and she loves to listen to old vinyl," Millar continues. "She's very old school. She does not have a computer. She does not have a cell phone. She doesn't believe in social media. So she's very much someone who is not in her time, whereas Enid is totally with it and completely of the moment."

Wednesday will hit Netflix this fall.

Make sure to check out EW's Fall TV Preview cover story — as well as all of our 2022 Fall TV Preview content, releasing over 22 days through Sept. 29.

Related content: