Five years after Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement wrote, directed, and starred in the film What We Do in the Shadows, their comedic vampire universe is enjoying a successful second life as the recently-renewed FX show of the same. The pair is heavily involved in the small screen version of Shadows: Clement created the show and both have directed episodes. They also recently reprised their vampiric alter-egos on an episode whose other guest stars included Tilda Swinton, Dave Bautista, and Wesley Snipes. But at a For Your Consideration event in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, both Waititi and his fellow executive producer Paul Simms revealed that they were initially wary of getting involved with the show at all.
“When Jemaine first pitched me the idea of doing a TV version of the movie, I thought it sounded like a terrible idea,” Simms told panel moderator Kristen Schaal, another season 1 guest star.
“Me too,” said Waititi.
“I assumed that Jemaine and Taika wouldn’t be involved, and they just wanted to grab some cash, and let someone else do it,” continued Simms. “So, when I heard that both of them were going to be actively involved, that [got me] excited.”
“Well, I tried to bail,” said Waititi. “Mostly, I did. I mostly got away with it. When we were shooting the film, about halfway through, we talked to each other, and I had very serious questions whether a five-minute sketch idea could be extended into an hour-and-a-half, and then to actually make a show…. It was a stand up idea, and even that was too long!”
Finally, the Thor: Ragnorak director acknowledged that he was wrong about his apprehensions, saying he now wanted, “as many seasons as M*A*S*H.”
The season 1 finale of What We Do in the Shadows airs May 29. Watch a teaser trailer for the finale above.