Season 1 director Tim Burton is currently hard at work developing Season 2 following the actors' and writers' strikes, with the show becoming one of Netflix's biggest hits in November 2022.
Netflix reportedly made Wednesday a major priority for development during the strikes as the studio will surely want to get one of its most successful programs back to fans sooner rather than later.
Jenna Ortega - Wednesday No More?
In a new episode of The Town with Matthew Belloni, the podcast host expressed his belief that Jenna Ortega will no longer be a part of Netflix's Wednesday series after the upcoming Season 2 is completed due to Ortega's statement on Dax Shephard's podcast in March 2023.
Speaking with Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw, Belloni reflected on Ortega's comments:
"Next is the Did I Say That Out Loud award for the media fumble of the year. I’m gonna give this one to Jenna Ortega, who managed to crap on her own show in an interview on the Dax Shepherd podcast. She basically said that scripts were not good for 'Wednesday.' Keep in mind, this is the most successful show in the history of Netflix."
Belloni also looked back on how Ortega explained that she "had to come up with the famous TikTok dance scene" from Episode 4 after saying no to what was going to be a flash mob. Ortega told Shephard that she had never "had to put [her] foot down on a set" the way she did in this series:
"She said that she had to come up with the famous TikTok dance scene. It was gonna be a flash mob but she vetoed it and she said, 'I don’t think I’ve ever had to put my foot down on a set the way I had to on 'Wednesday.' Not great when your lead actress is shitting all over your very successful TV show."
Ortega did actually share that 'foot down' quote verbatim. Here are her full Wednesday comments from her time on Dax Shepard's podcast:
“I don’t think I’ve ever had to put my foot down on a set in the way that I had to on Wednesday because it’s so easy to fall into that category, especially with this type of show... There were times on that set when I even became almost unprofessional, in a sense, where I just started changing lines. The script supervisor thought that I was going with something, and then I would have to sit down with the writers and they would be like, ‘Wait, what happened to the scene?’ And I would to have to go through and explain why I couldn’t do certain things..."
Shaw was in disbelief over those remarks, commenting on how the Wednesday cast and crew "haven’t even started shooting the second season" yet after planning the series out for multiple years:
"Really strange, because it was such a huge hit and totally changed the trajectory of her career, and they also haven’t even started shooting the second season, which she should want to happen, because it can continue to make her a huge star. I just don’t get what she’s doing."
And now, Belloni - who was editorial director at The Hollywood Reporter from 2016 to 2020 - is predicting that Ortega will not be part of Wednesday "beyond the second season," also noting how Netflix is "developing spin-offs like the Uncle Fester show" in preparation for Ortega's potential departure:
Belloni: "Yeah, I have a… We’re not doing a callsheet today, but I have a prediction on Wednesday. I do not believe that Jenna Ortega will be on the show beyond the second season."
Shaw: "I think that’s a safe prediction."
Belloni: "I think there’s a reason why they are developing spin-offs like the Uncle Fester show and others they have in the works. And I just feel like this may be two and done for her."
Where Does Netflix's Wednesday Go From Here?
Hearing these comments from Jenna Ortega and Matthew Belloni is certainly disappointing, especially with the breakout star's future now in serious doubt after Wednesday brought so much success for Netflix.
This is also coupled with the removal of Percy Hynes White's Xavier Thorpe after the actor was accused of sexual assault, only adding more difficulty to the show's long-term prospects.
Filming for Season 2 was already delayed due to the strikes. When filming starts in April, Netflix may have to decide where to go from there.
Of course, the Wednesday cast is filled with capable characters and actors that could be used for spin-offs, including Fred Armisen's aforementioned Uncle Fester or even Luis Guzman and Catherine Zeta-Jones' Gomez and Morticia Addams.
But with Ortega being such a huge star after her performance as Wednesday, particularly with her appearance in Beetlejuice 2 on the horizon, this series' future has quite the uphill battle.
Season 1 of Wednesday is now streaming on Netflix. Season 2 is set to begin filming in April.