A TV spinoff for Taika Waititi’s vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows – one mocking police reality shows – will premiere in New Zealand next year. While Waititi is still basking in the positive and profitable reception to Thor: Ragnarok, several projects spinning out of his previous cult hit movie What We Do in the Shadows are still ongoing. The first production that will hit screens is currently close to wrapping in New Zealand, and will be seen in that territory during 2018. A police mockumentary called Wellington Paranormal, it features characters from the original film and looks to be a suitably silly mix of the supernatural and reality cop shows.
Before joining Marvel, Waititi was known for his indie comedy work on TV, and critically praised films such as Eagle vs. Shark and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. However, when What We Do in the Shadows was released in 2014 it gathered a strong following, due to its expert mix of faux documentary and laugh-out-loud comedy. It follows a dysfunctional group of vampires as they struggle to deal with modern life in New Zealand. Waititi starred as Viago, with his co-director and working partner Jemaine Clement as Vladislav. It was inspired by an early short the pair had made, and when the film became a global hit they decided to open up the world with further projects.
As reported in Stuff, filming for Wellington Paranormal – which was previously called Paranormal Event Response Unit – has just about been completed. The series consists of six thirty-minute episodes and is expected to air on local New Zealand channel TVNZ mid-2018. Directed by Clement, the show is taking the same mockumentary approach as the film; although in this instance, a film crew is shadowing Wellington law enforcement rather than vampires. The focus of the show will be police unit members Mike Minogue and Karen O’Leary, as they are called out to make sense of supernatural occurrences. They can be seen briefly in the original film as the cops that get hypnotized by the vampires when they call at their house, and are unable to see the gory mess in front of them. Another character from the film will cause some trouble, as freshly turned vampire Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) is also said to make an appearance.
Producer Paul Yates said that the series would be more strict with the documentary style, and that they are basically ‘taking the mickey out of‘ police television reality shows, while adding an X-Files element to it. Clement also added that although absent and busy in the U.S., Waititi was definitely providing creative input into the script and had some big plans for 2018, though he wouldn’t be drawn on further details. It’s highly likely that some of those plans will also be related to more spinoffs of the vampire mockumentary. Waititi previously announced his intention to make a US based TV version of What We Do in the Shadows, and a film sequel focusing on the Werewolves from the film called We’re Wolves.
There’s no news as to a U.S. distributor for the show, but given the popularity of the film it seems very likely that it will be picked up by streaming services or a U.S. channel at some point following the local broadcast. With Waititi’s talents being much in demand during 2018, hopefully we’ll still see much more of this comedic shared universe that he co-created. We’ll bring you further updates on this show and the other spinoffs as we get them.
Wellington Paranormal is scheduled to air on TVNZ2 (New Zealand) in mid-2018.
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