The Addams Family Director Details How Christina Ricci Changed the Film's Ending

When the iconic Addams Family jumped to the big screen in 1991, there were a number of narratives that could have been explored to justify their existence for a feature film, with The Addams Family focusing on a complex story featuring mistaken identities, imposters, and amnesia. The storyline had so many twists and turns that director Barry Sonnenfeld wasn't even sure what the best way to handle the ending would be, with him recently detailing the ways in which young star Christina Ricci ended up being the most insightful member of the production who helped guide them down the right path.

In the film, the Addams family mourns the loss of Uncle Fester, only for "Fester" to return to claim his rightful place in the family, though this imposter (Christopher Lloyd) is actually trying to cash in on the family's fortune. In the original version of the film, this imposter, named Gordon, is embraced into the family as an Addams, given how well he fit into their dynamic. However, it was the young Ricci who made the plea that it should somehow be revealed that Gordon actually was Fester the whole time, yet suffered amnesia following his disappearance, confirming it was destiny that he reunite with his family.

"The cast all gathered in a circle and told all the reasons to Christina why they thought [the original ending] was a bad idea. She went on for 10 minutes, explaining why it had to be the real Fester," Sonnenfeld recently detailed to The Hollywood Reporter. "I said, 'Give us a minute.' [Producer] Scott [Rudin], [writer Paul] Rudnick, and I went into a corner. I said, 'I think she's kind of right.' And Rudnick and Rudin agreed. I asked Chris [Lloyd], 'Do you care if he is the real Fester or fake Fester?' He said, 'Meh. I don't care.' So we rewrote the ending based on the cast disagreement."

Despite her age, Sonnenfeld noted how integral Ricci was to the entire process, admitting, "Whenever the cast had a problem they would go to Christina Ricci because she was the most articulate and intellectually gifted of any castmember." 

The Addams Family would go on to earn the 1993 sequel Addams Family Values. The characters have also been featured in two animated feature films, the most recent of which hit theaters last month.

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