After languishing in development for years, MGM is finally moving forward with its The Addams Family animated adaptation, bringing on director Conrad Vernon (Sausage Party) to take the helm. The filmmaker has also been brought on to produce the movie, alongside The Jackal Group's Gail Berman and Alex Schwartz. CG animation work is already under way in Vancouver, but MGM hasn't announced a release date, so it may be quite some time before it hits theaters, but it looks like it's finally on the right track after several years in development.
MGM Studios announced this project back in 2013, setting writer Pamela Pettler (The Corpse Bride) to write the script. Andrew Mittman and Kevin Miserocchi were initially attached as producers at the time, but now they are executive producing, with MGM's executive director Tabitha Shick overseeing the project. Matt Lieberman (Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief) provided revisions on Pamela Pettler's screenplay, although no story details have been given at this time.
The Addams Family began as single-panel "gag illustrations" drawn by artist Charles Addams, which originally appeared in The New Yorker in 1938. The characters were all unnamed and undeveloped until the original TV series debuted in 1964, and only ran for two seasons, but the show quickly developed a cult following. The original series starred Carolyn Jones as Morticia Addams, John Astin as Gomez Addams, Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester, Ted Cassidy as Lurch, Lisa Loring as Wednesday Addams, Ken Weatherwax as Pugsley Addams and Felix Silla as Cousin Itt. While the TV series was on the air, The New Yorker refused to publish any of Charles Addams new Addams Family illustrations under editor William Shawn, but after he retired in 1987, the cartoons were welcomed back, and were published at The New Yorker until Charles Addams' death in 1998.
After the original series went off the air in 1966, The Addams Family found new life in animated form, appearing on The New Scooby-Doo Movies in 1972, with John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Jackie Coogan, and Ted Cassidy returning to voice their characters. This lead to an animated series that ran on NBC from 1973 to 1975 that showed the family hitting the road in an RV. The Addams Family feature film hit theaters in 1991, starring Anjelica Huston as Morticia Addams, Raul Julia as Gomez Addams, Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester, Jimmy Workman as Puglsey Addams and Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams in a breakthrough role.
There was at one point set to be an Addams Family 3D reboot that was eyeing Tim Burton to direct, although the director's reps later denied that he had any involvement in the project whatsoever. Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment were putting that project together, with writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski set to write the screenplay. While that project ultimately fell apart and was cancelled in 2013, paving the way for MGM to pick up the rights, the director and screenwriters still did work together on the 2014 biopic Big Eyes starring Amy Adams as famed artist Margaret Keane. Aside from last year's R-rated romp Sausage Party, which he directed with Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon has also directed animated hits Shrek 2, Monsters vs. Aliens and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. This report from The Hollywood Reporter doesn't provide any story details for this new movie, but hopefully we'll hear more soon.