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Development roundup: J.J. Abrams producing superhero movie, What We Do in the Shadows TV show gets green light

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May 3, 2018

J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot production company are getting into a genre they've left mostly untapped until now: the superhero movie.

But that's about to change. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Abrams team is producing a movie for Paramount Pictures called The Heavy, which is described as a "subversive take" on the superhero genre. The script is by Daniel Casey, and in typical Bad Robot fashion, all other details are shrouded in mystery at the moment.

Abrams is interested in having Australian filmmaker Julius Avery — who is also behind the camera on Bad Robot's Overlord — direct the film. Overlord, a supernatural thriller set during World War II that involves Nazis and monsters but is not a Cloverfield-related movie as first speculated, is due out Oct. 26 and just picked up some good buzz from a screening of footage at CinemaCon in Las Vegas last week.

If all goes well, Bad Robot and Paramount want to get The Heavy — which we can probably say with confidence isn't a Cloverfield movie either — in front of cameras this year.


 

What We Do In The Shadows

Credit: Unison Films

In other development news, a proposed TV series based on the horror comedy (and faux documentary) What We Do in the Shadows has gotten the green light from FX.

The 2014 movie — written, directed by and starring Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) — revolved around four vampires who share a house in Wellington, New Zealand, and have trouble adapting to modern life after hundreds of years together.

Clement and Waititi wrote and directed the pilot, respectively, with the show scheduled to arrive in spring 2019 for an initial 10-episode run. Starring as the vampire flatmates are Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, and Harvey Guillen, although it remains to be seen if Clement and Waititi themselves show up in their original roles.

In a statement, FX president of originals Nick Grad said that Clement and Waititi's "feature version was a hilarious, fresh take on the mundanity of everyday life that even immortals must face. We are thankful to them, (producers) Paul Simms and Scott Rudin, and this amazing cast for taking us deeper into the shadows with this series."