Waititi and Clement discuss U.S. What We Do in the Shadows series

What We Do in the Shadows Taika Waititi

Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi are building a universe of projects on the foundation of their 2014 film WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, a horror/comedy mockumentary that gave a glimpse into the lives of a group of vampires residing in modern day New Zealand. Police officer characters from that movie got their own TV series spin-off titled Wellington Paranormal, a spin-off titled WE'RE WOLVES and based around werewolf characters is in the works, and there's going to be a TV show version of What We Do in the Shadows that's set in the United States.

The American What We Do in the Shadows won't begin airing on FX until next year, but attendees of the New York Comic Con got to see a special screening of the first episode last weekend. That screening was followed by a Q&A with Clement, Waititi, and executive producer / writer Paul Simms, during which they discussed the characters, the setting, and the possibility of a crossover between the series and the movie.

The series centers on 

three vampires who live together: Laszlo (Matt Berry), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), and Nandor (Kayvan Novak) — the former two are husband and wife. Also living with them is a fourth vampire named Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch), who’s an “energy vampire.” Instead of blood, he sucks the energy out of his victims by boring them to death with mundane anecdotes and bad jokes. The office is his feeding ground, but his powers also work on his vampire roomies.

Rotten Tomatoes reports that Clement said, 

We hadn’t thought about anything like that (an energy vampire) for the movie, but when I was reading about different kinds of vampires, there was one that people mentioned as a real type of vampire that exists and that we all come up against."

According to Simms, the series is set on State Island because they had

the idea that the vampires had been — maybe 200 years ago — sent to conquer America, but had sort of lost their way and forgotten. They’d gotten to New York, and that’s where the boat dropped them off, and they never went any further and before they knew it, a lot of time had passed."

The pilot episode deals with that forgotten mission, as the 

main action is put into motion when our central three vampires receive notice that an ancient leader vampire named the Baron is coming to pay them a visit from abroad, purportedly to see how conquering America is going. Nadja also fans a extramarital crush on a human who she’s convinced is a reincarnation of an old flame — one that she incidentally decapitated in the bedroom.

There’s also quite a lot of attention paid to the vampires’ familiars, particularly the sweet-but-fumbling Guillermo (Harvey Guillen). Laszlo has been his master for the last 10 years, and he hopes to one day be rewarded for his service by being turned into a vampire himself. He’s a bright spot of innocence in this household of bloodsucking murderers — even though he helps in this murders along the way.

After centuries of staying on Staten Island, the vampires will start branching out into other areas of New York as the series goes on.

They sort of think that Staten Island is all of New York or maybe even all of America, but there’s a whole story where they go into Manhattan for the first time to meet the Manhattan vampires, who are a little bit cooler than they are."

This group will be meeting Manhattan vampires, but it's not likely they'll be meeting New Zealand vampires any time soon. Asked if the vampires from the movie would be showing up in the series, 

Clement maintained that it’d take a lot for those New Zealand vampires to travel the nearly 9,000 miles to the United States' East Coast.

"Only if something really disastrous happens. It has to be of incredible import."

I think it's cool that WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS has sparked a multi-entry franchise, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the small screen What We Do in the Shadows is going to be like.

We'll find out in 2019.

Source: Rotten Tomatoes



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