addamsfamily addamsfamily
Feature Film

‘Sausage Party’ Co-Director Conrad Vernon To Direct ‘The Addams Family’ CG Feature

Are you a creaky Hollywood studio that ran out of ideas sometime in the last century? No worries, just find an idea that’s been made…and made again – and then make it again.

MGM has announced that it will produce a cg animated reboot of The Addams Family, a property that’s almost as old as MGM itself.

The morbid Addams clan will turn 80 years old next year. They were the creation of cartoonist Charles Addams, who introduced them in 1938 in a series of single-panel cartoons in The New Yorker.

The characters went on to star in two live-action tv series (1964, 1999), two animated series (1973, 1992), and two live-action theatrical movies (1991, 1993), in addition to appearing in other formats like made-for-tv movies and video games.

If there’s any silver lining to the project, it’s that the talented Conrad Vernon has climbed aboard to direct the film. It’s being animated by Cinesite Studios in Vancouver, which is the new name of the former Nitrogen Studios, where Vernon co-directed last year’s surprisingly tasty treat, Sausage Party.

Vernon, who also co-directed Madagascar 3, and Monsters vs. Aliens, has recently been attached to other projects, including the development of a Jetsons cg feature and an Amazon Studios series Amberville, based on Tim Davys’ “Mollisan Town” novel series.

Pamela Pettler (Corpse Bride, 9, Monster House) wrote the new Addams screenplay, with revisions/polish by Matt Lieberman (Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief, upcoming Scooby).

Vernon will produce the film with Alex Schwartz and The Jackal Groups’s Gail Berman. Andrew Mittman and Kevin Miserocchi will exec produce, and MGM exec Tabitha Shick is overseeing for the studio.

No release date has been set for the film.

  • Feel like this project and the Jetsons should’ve been a live-action/cgi hybrid instead.

    • Dave 52

      Why? I mean for this I kind of understand because there have been two live action movies before this film. But why a Jetsons live action movie? I mean for years we have been demanding studios to actually give us movies based on cartoons or comics in the form they originated in. Everyone knows that animation is an infinite canvas that not even live action and challenge. Why make a movie based on a cartoon and have it be live action where it limited to what it can do instead of making it animated and open up more possibilities. If Captain Underpants was a live action movie there would be no way it would be as good it is. It would probably be on par with something like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid films. However, because it’s animated, it can get away with a lot more than a live action adaption could ever do. There is a reason certain gags in the Scooby Doo and Flinstones worked better in the cartoons than in the movies (remember how awkward the tip-toe bowling scene was in The Flinstones movie?). The possibilities that both The Jetsons and Addams Family has as films can be reached further in animation than it ever could in live action ( I say this more The Jetsons than Addams Family).

      I don’t mean to sound mean, but I am curious as to why you think these properties would have been suited better in live action when animation just seems the right way to go.

  • WanderPony

    Let me guess: Conrad’s gonna treat the animators horribly like he and Greg Tiernan did with Sausage Party?

    • Corbin Armstrong

      No, it was only greg that treated the amimators terribly.

  • zoe

    This is a weird one. There are a ton of potential issues. If this film actually makes it to release I will be amazed. I can see the theoretical benefit of “rebooting” the Addams Family because it’s been long enough that today’s kids have no preconceived notion of the characters. The AF is kind of a blank slate to begin with because the original characters in the New Yorker had no names and weren’t developed at all. The television series is what formed most of the “story bible” if you can even call it that.

    The 90s Barry Sonnenfeld films are really, really good. They are much darker than the TV show and more aligned with the morbid humor of Charles Addams’ cartoons. They also had fantastic production design, good music, and excellent casting. Very hard to improve upon.

    The 90s films were way too grim for young children, but the adult sensibility makes them classics. Who is the market for this animated version? Kids? Adults? Adolescents? The Addams universe runs the gamut from “creepy/kooky/mysterious/spooky” to elaborate and bloody gags involving the guillotine and the electric chair. The original Addams cartoons are really twisted. How much of that will survive in this adaptation? We’ll see I guess…

  • Anonymous

    And right now there’s a room full of CG supervisors, technical directors and artists wondering how they are going to do the hair simulations on Cousin It.

  • Guest Star

    Wasn’t Sausage Party produced by that studio that forced artists to work over time, didn’t pay them enough and fired the ones who complained? I remember reading a piece about it here on CB. And it turned out that all the higher ups including the producers and director where aware of this and didn’t give a damn?

    • Joe

      Hold up. Not so sure that ALL the higher-ups knew exactly what was going on there, but do know that it was mainly Greg doing this.

  • rnenno

    Is the Nitrogen name change to Cinesite a result of a purchase/merger, or a PR move after the fallout from the Sausage Party working condition reports last year?

  • I was interested when there were talks that this was going to be a Tim Burton project, but now I’m not so sure.

    • skent

      yes, this was previously announced as a Tim Burton animated movie …thru stop-motion. Which seemed so right I would’ve checked that out even if it was awful. This new version will have to be brilliant for me to even consider it.