Fans of the quirky 2014 New Zealand “mockmentary” What We Do in the Shadows rejoice, for FX has dropped the first teasers for its much-anticipated TV adaptation. The half-hour comedy looks to preserve the same deadpan humor and worldweary tone that made the original film an instant cult classic.
Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement wrote, directed, and starred in the horror-comedy, playing vampire roommates Vladislav (Clement) and Viago (Waititi) in Wellington, New Zealand. Given their nocturnal nature, they and their vampire friends haven’t adapted to modern life particularly well, and their mishaps as they struggle to navigate the mundane trivialities of daily life in the 21st century are the source of much of the film’s deadpan humor. What We Do in the Shadows garnered a solid cult following after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, ultimately earning $ 6.9 million—a decent showing given its modest $ 1.6 million budget.
Combine that success with Waititi’s impressive directorial turn at the helm of Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok, and it’s no surprise that TV networks came calling. Along with a rumored big-screen sequel about the werewolf gang introduced in the film (“We’re werewolves, not swearwolves”), the guys are well on their way to creating their own cinematic universe with two spinoff series.
Television New Zealand commissioned a spinoff procedural series, Wellington Paranormal, that premiered this summer, although it’s not yet available in the US. That’s too bad, because a sitcom about two hapless cops investigating weird supernatural occurrences has to be worth watching. (Detectives intent on discovering a werewolf’s favorite pizza topping? Count us in.) The show has already been renewed for a second season, so perhaps it will get broader distribution soon.
Distribution won’t be an issue with the FX Shadows series, set to premiere next spring with ten 30-minute episodes. It’s set in New York City, because where better for vampires to thrive than the city that never sleeps? The vampire roommates this time around are Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Lazslo (Matt Berry), and their human “familiar” Guillermo (Harvey Guillen).
The teasers are too short to get more than a taste of the new series, but FX screened the pilot at NYCC last month to the delight of attendees. According to SyFy Wire, the roommates must prepare for the arrival of an ancient vampire called The Baron while dealing with an “energy vampire” (Mark Proksch) who finds a natural target in office environments: “We either drain you through boring conversation or we enrage you.”
Listing image by YouTube/FX