What We Do in the Shadows may have first blipped the radar in 2014 as a quirky, fang-in-cheek vampire mockumentary from directors/stars Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, but it has become one of the most unlikely franchise success stories out there. Indeed, after buzz from the New Zealand film yielded home-country spinoff series Wellington Paranormal, this season’s debut of an Americanized TV series on FX was a success, and quickly earned a second season renewal. However, one long-discussed project, a spinoff film about werewolves, has been up in the air.
While there’s still not much substance-wise to divulge about the What We Do in the Shadows werewolf spinoff – teased to brandish the pun-pushing title, We’re Wolves – the ever-busy franchise co-creator, Taika Waititi, recently provided an update on the project’s status. At an Emmys FYC event held by FX this past Wednesday – where Season 1 finale “Ancestry” screened in advance – Waititi commented (via IndieWire):
“We’re Wolves is the film that Jemaine and I keep pretending that we’re making. Every couple of years we say, we’re making this new film called We’re Wolves, which follows the werewolves from the film.” He added, “I feel bad to even mention it now because we keep saying it, [but] it’s like a dad saying, ‘Yeah, I’ll be home for Christmas.’
The We’re Wolves project would delve deeper into what the Shadows universe has – thus far only loosely – established regarding the tenuous relationship that vampires have with werewolves. We’ve seen some scraps between our vampire characters and the occasional werewolf pack in the 2014 film; a dynamic that was expanded upon in the FX series, notably in Episode 3, “Werewolf Feud,” in which our bloodsucking Staten Island housemates run afoul of some local lycanthropes, who, amongst other things, are defacing and “territory marking” Lazlo’s precious vulva-shaped topiaries. While the two groups tend to stay clear of one another, per an agreed charter, occasional (and hilarious) run-ins are inevitable.
Interestingly, What We Do in the Shadows has not only experienced a quick multimedium expansion, but it also recently codified its shared-universe nature in Episode 7 of the FX series, in which a vampire tribunal was convened featuring several surprising cameos, notably amongst them were vampire housemates from the 2014 film, Viago (Waititi), Vladislav (Clement) and Deacon (Jonathan Brugh). Consequently, a spinoff film, giving werewolves a similar mockumentary treatment, would be a welcome addition to a growing comedic continuity. However, Waititi has no firm timeline for said addition. As he muses:
“I suppose we’re just two dads out on the road enjoying our lives and going, ‘We’re not coming home for Christmas.’ We’ll send a postcard. It’s not like we don’t want to come home for Christmas. We would like nothing more but we have a lot of s**t going on.”
Of course, said s**t has grown to herculean proportions over the past few years; the clear result of Waititi’s now-proven ability to steer (profitable) blockbusters, having directed the 2017 manic Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok. Besides the recently-renewed Season 2 of Shadows, his next project is October’s World War II film, Jojo Rabbit, followed by television work in the Star Wars universe on Disney+ series The Mandalorian, as well as the pilot episode for Apple’s Time Bandits revival series. In addition to being set to direct the live-action Akira movie, he’s still keeping up appearances as an actor, notably set to join Ryan Reynolds in the cast of open-world video game movie Free Guy.
Ever the cheeky troll, Waititi puts a punctuation to the We’re Wolves conversation by teasing of the timeline:
“When are you going to die? Do you have a … deadline before your death? I guarantee it before then. Five years, 10 years? It took us seven years to write the [first] film, so you do the math. That was a sad thing to say.”
For now, you can catch the season finale of FX’s What We Do in the Shadows, which airs Wednesday, May 29 at 10 p.m.