What a time to be Taika Waititi. As well as wowing critics and film audiences alike with his newest comedy-drama Hunt for the Wilderpeople (which at the time of writing holds an impressive 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and has become the highest grossing New Zealand film of all time) and having his first foray into the superhero genre, Thor: Ragnarok, currently in production for Marvel Studios, Waititi is also finding renewed interest in his breakthrough cult hit What We Do in the Shadows, with a TV spin-off currently in the works.
The six-part series, conceived by Jermaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and Waititi, who wrote, directed and starred in Shadows, will focus on the two cops from the original film, who approached the paranormal events of the film, including human remains in the vampire house and a man mauled by werewolves, with a wonderfully deadpan and nonchalant attitude.
The series, titled Paranormal Event Response Unit, has been commissioned for 6 episodes and will also be set in Wellington, New Zealand where the film took place. It will follow the actions of cops Karen and Mike (played by Karen O’Leary and Mike Minogue) that were seen in the movie, dealing with the various paranormal events that arise whilst on duty. However, Clement wasn’t originally optimistic about the show ever getting made, explaining that “We’ve already been told before we even handed it in that there’s no money for comedy.”
Prospects for the show have changed now however, with broadcast funding agency NZ On Air reportedly investing $1 million into the project. Boss Jane Wrightson states that “Comedy is serious business and notoriously hard to get right. We are delighted that Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi are bringing their talents to smaller screens.” Waititi also jokingly tweeted about the project, saying that the show will be like “Mulder and Scully, but in a country where nothing happens”.
It is unknown at this time whether the vampires Viago, Vladislav, Deacon and Nick will make cameo appearances in the series, or whether it will have any links to the upcoming spinoff film We’re Wolves, which will focus on the werewolf support group which was a personal highlight from the original film (“We’re werewolves not swear wolves!).
Waititi’s latest film, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, is in cinemas now. Watch the trailer below;