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SYFY WIRE What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows creators will use the TV show to go deeper into the film's mythology

By James Comtois & Tara Bennett
what we do in the shadows panel

Conventional and unconventional vampires abound in the new series What We Do in the Shadows, based on the 2014 film of the same name. This one, however, has some bite: In addition to traditional bloodsuckers, the upcoming FX series includes the addition of ... an energy vampire. Yes, it feeds on your will to live.

After unveiling a new trailer and release date earlier in the day, the cast and creators of the series — who include original film directors-turned-series executive producers Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), as well as EP Paul Simms — said at a TCA panel Monday in Beverly Hills that the series enables them to do more with the ideas presented in the film, not to mention with a bigger budget than the film.

“With the series, we can do full character development and more complex storylines,” said Waititi.

Clement noted that another way the series is able to go deeper into the world the film created (and tackle more complex narratives) is that they’re able to tell stories side by side — in the present day and 200 years ago.

Added Clement: “Some ideas we thought about for the film we used for the show.”

What We Do in the Shadows | Season 1: Prince of Darkness Teaser | FX

Waititi explained that they had always planned to make another film, but Thor “got in the way” of them making their werewolf spinoff movie. Fortunately, Clement promised that “there are some werewolves” in this series. But since they’re from New York and not from New Zealand, they’re comfortable swearing. (In the film, the lycanthropes constantly remind themselves, “We’re werewolves, not swearwolves.”)

Although Simms said that the series features “all new characters,” including Colin the energy vampire (more on him in a moment), it “takes place in the same universe” as the movie.

Now, about Colin. Although there was no energy vampire in the movie, one has been introduced in the series. Played by Mark Proksch, Colin is someone “you meet ... at parties” from whom “you need to extract,” said Clement, since they drain your life energy just by talking with you. (When they screened the pilot at New York Comic Con this past October, attendees got to see Colin in action, wandering around office cubicles and quite literally boring people to death with his dull chatter.)

“I’m relatively boring in person,” said Proksch. “I bring my babbling brook of bulls*** to the show.”

The series, which has a 10-episode order, mimics the mockumentary look, style, and feel of the film, but instead of following five vampires living together in New Zealand, it follows the exploits of four different vampires (along with one familiar) living together on Staten Island.

What We Do in the Shadows premieres March 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.

For full coverage of the winter TCAs, check out SYFY WIRE’s coverage here.