Ever since the world first learned about Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s What We Do in the Shadows television adaptation this time last year, fans of the pair’s hilarious mockumentary film about vampire roommates have been eagerly awaiting its arrival. FX picked up the adaptation in January, and casting was announced a few months later, and at this year’s New York Comic Con, Clement and Waititi previewed the first episode for those in attendance. They also revealed where the idea first came from.
It turns out the New Zealand comedians’ film-turned-television show about bickering vampire roommates originated in a series of silly, surreal stand-up sets that the pair was doing in their early days. Per Vulture, Clement explained it as follows:
“One of us was telling vampire jokes, I think it was me, like, [exaggerated vampire accent] ‘I flew from Transylvania, why are my arms so tired?’ and stuff like that. And Taika, as a vampire gets up and starts heckling me. [Vampire voice] ‘Oh my old vampire rival, every gig I’ve done for 200 years you come and you heckle me.’ This was like 15 years ago.”
Although the stand-up comedy aspect didn’t make it into the 2014 film, Clement and Waititi’s playful banter on stage is what sparked their ultimate desire to make something in the same vein as This Is Spinal Tap. They were especially drawn to the vampire roommates angle to, for while the two never lived together, they did spend a lot of time in each other’s company since Waititi was dating Clement’s roommate at the time. As the former joked, “I just wanted to be closer to Jemaine, so I got that girlfriend.”
As for FX’s What We Do in the Shadows series, it’s expected to premiere sometime in 2019.