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How Smallville set the stage for Netflix’s Wednesday

Are you enjoying Wednesday? You have Smallville to thank for that.

Image credit: Netflix

Smallville and Wednesday have more in common than you think. Both series tell a coming-of-age story about a pop culture icon. In Smallville’s case, it was a Superman prequel focusing on Clark Kent’s teenage years. Similarly, Wednesday follows Wednesday Addams (of the Addams Family fame) as she makes her way through high school.

Some of these similarities can be attributed to the team behind both shows. In 2001 showrunners Alfred Gough and Miles Millar launched Smallville for the WB television network. Now they’re taking the lessons they learned from the Superman prequel and using them to make Wednesday into a fan favorite series. Speaking at this year's New York City Comic Con, Millar and Gough reflected on how Smallville paved the way for Wednesday.

“We feel very lucky that we were given the honor of making this happen,” Millar said. “People approached before, and they have been denied. For us, I guess the legacy of Smallville helped in terms finding the chapter of her life and telling the story. Smallville was our first show, and this is our next iteration.”

“It’s an idea that came to us pretty quickly,” Gough recalled. “Three and a half years ago we had the idea of Wednesday Addams in boarding school. And then it was tracking down who actually controlled the rights to it. That part was actually harder.”

“It’s definitely a process,” Millar continued. “It’s not something we ever articulate, we just write it, and then it comes out. This one sort of walks a tonal balance or tightrope in terms of the tone. Because it’s a lot of things. It’s funny, scary, spooky, and emotional.”

The next time you watch Wednesday, take a moment to consider Smallville, and how Clark Kent’s heroic journey led to Jenny Ortega’s rising star.

Wednesday Addams is a ‘creepy little freak” according to Jenna Ortega

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About the Author
Joshua Lapin-Bertone avatar

Joshua Lapin-Bertone

Contributing writer

Joshua is a pop culture writer specializing in comic book media. His work has appeared on the official DC Comics website, the DC Universe subscription service, HBO Max promotional videos, the Batman Universe fansite, and more. In between traveling around the country to cover various comic conventions, Joshua resides in Florida where he binges superhero television and reads obscure comics from yesteryear.