What We Do in the Shadows Writer Details the Biggest Challenge for the TV Series

what we do in shadows poster
(Photo: FX)

The release of What We Do in the Shadows paved the way for co-director, co-writer, and star Taika Waititi to become a major force in Hollywood, going on to helm the blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok and score Oscar nominations with Jojo Rabbit, with the contributions he and collaborator Jemaine Clement made on the comedy being so strong that the biggest challenge the creators of the TV series adaptation of the vampire film being how to introduce an entirely new cast of characters. Whatever initial challenges the TV series might have faced, they weren't anything the show couldn't overcome, as it earned eight Emmy Award nominations for its accomplishments in Season Two.

"I think Scott Rudin, the producer, saw the movie and thought it should be a TV show and went to Jermaine and Taika and said this should be a TV show and they both eventually came around to the idea that it should be a TV show," writer and producer Paul Simms shared with Deadline. "I think the biggest hurdle to figure out was if it would be the same actors in the movie or if it would be a whole new cast, and it's a whole new cast, which was the challenge initially, but which I think has been fantastic for the show."

In addition to Clement and Waititi, the film also starred Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, and Stu Rutherford as supernatural creatures. The TV series stars Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillen, and Mark Proksch. Waititi and Clement serve as producers on the series, with the pair also having reprised their movie roles for the show, as has Brugh.

One of the most talked-about horror events of 2019 was due to the TV show, as it saw some of pop culture's most famous vampires all uniting as a vampire council. Joining the Waititi, Clement, and Brugh in the episode "The Trial" were Tilda Swinton (Only Lovers Left Alive), Paul Reubens (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Evan Rachel Wood (True Blood), and Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn). Wesley Snipes even appeared in the scene, but with his involvement being via Skype, the connections to his Blade performance weren't quite as apparent as the other guest stars. Additionally, the scene featured Dave Bautista and Kristen Schaal, both playing all-new vampire characters.

There are more adventures for the vampires in store for audiences, as What We Do in the Shadows has been renewed for a third season on FX.


Have you been enjoying the series? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!