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SYFY WIRE Development

Development: What We Do in the Shadows to SXSW; Dumbo to China; more

By Josh Weiss
Escape Room

We have a loaded genre development roundup coming your way below. Prepare yourself for killer escape rooms, hilarious vampires, flying elephants, and conversations with the dead ...

First up, FX's TV adaptation of What We Do in the Shadows will make its worldwide debut at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, on March 8, reports Deadline.

To help drum up publicity, there will also be pop-up "libraries" all over town, with books on vampires and other dark, monster-related subjects.

What We Do in the Shadows | Season 1: Official Trailer [HD] | FX

Based on the 2014 mockumentary directed by Jemaine Clement (Moana) and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), What We Do in the Shadows is a farcical take on a group of vampires living together in Staten Island, New York — the original took place in Wellington, New Zealand.

Clement and Waititi are both producing the series with Paul Simms, Scott Rudin, Garrett Basch, and Eli Bush.

SXSW will also host the world premiere of the Pet Sematary remake.

Disney's Dumbo is receiving a Chinese release, despite the country's tight restrictions on foreign films, per THR.

The Tim Burton-directed fantasy (and live-action remake of the 1941 animated classic) will soar into Chinese theaters on the same day it does in America, March 29.

The project reunites Burton with some of his biggest collaborators: Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice), Danny DeVito (Batman Returns), and Eva Green (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children). Colin Farrell (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and Alan Arkin (Argo) are also a part of the A-list ensemble.

Set at a circus, the story revolves around a young elephant with massive ears. The ringmaster and owner of the operation (played by DeVito) ridicules the pachyderm until he discovers the animal has the ability to flap his ears and fly, thus attracting more business.

Columbia Pictures has put in an order for a sequel to Escape Room, the genre-tinged psychological thriller that debuted in early January, THR confirms.

Adam Robitel will return to direct, while Bragi F. Schut reprises his role as screenwriter; they wrote the initial film alongside Maria Melnik. The follow-up is slated for release on April 17, 2020.

A mix of the Saw franchise and David Fincher's The Game, Escape Room revolves around a group of people signing up for the titular experience only to end up fighting for their lives and sanity. On a fairly meager budget of $9 million, the film took in almost $120 million globally, according to Box Office Mojo.

Deborah Ann Woll (Daredevil), Taylor Russell (Lost in Space), Logan Miller (The Walking Dead), Jay Ellis (In a Relationship), Nik Dodani (Angie Tribeca), and Tyler Labine (Tucker & Dale vs Evil) were all a part of the principal cast.

Lastly, Shudder (the horror streaming service owned by AMC) has acquired the Brazilian horror film The Night Shifter, confirms Variety.

Purchased from Brazil's Globo TV and directed by Dennison Ramalho, the movie follows a morgue employee (played by Daniel de Oliveira) with the power to converse with the dead. This talent takes a turn for the worse when the morgue worker unwittingly unleashes a curse that places himself and his family in danger.

Having first premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, The Night Shifter will premiere in America in March.