Taika Waititi’s time as an executive producer on What We Do in the Shadows will soon lead down another rather intriguing road. FX has announced that the eclectic auteur will take on more duties at the network, this time for a comedy series that he co-wrote with Native American filmmaker Sterlin Harjo. They’ll both executive produce, along with WWDITS‘ Garrett Basch, for a show called Reservation Dogs, and if the mere sound of that title didn’t swiftly bring Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs to mind, then FX’s first promotional photo (above) will get that job done. This time, a group of teens will be rocking awfully familiar looking suits, and perhaps this shall carry some parody vibes. No official language has surfaced yet on that end, so we’ll have to be patient.
A press release reveals that Reservation Dogs “follows four Native teenagers in rural Oklahoma who spend their days committing crime… and fighting it.” I’m hoping to also see some shades of Crystal Moselle’s The Wolfpack, which followed a band of brothers (reference intentional) as they explored the streets of New York City, but with Waititi’s new show, these teens are strutting through Okmulgee, Oklahoma (the home of the Muskogee Creek tribal headquarters). And we’re getting crime capers, perhaps? Here’s FX’s revelation of the leading quartet’s character names:
D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai (Creeped Out) as BEAR
Devery Jacobs (American Gods) as ELORA DANAN
Paulina Alexis (Beans) as WILLIE JACK
Lane Factor (newcomer) as CHEESE
You can’t beat a guy who calls himself “Cheese.” He’s already my favorite, and I (obviously) know nothing about him. According to FX Original Programming President Nick Grad, “Sterlin Harjo draws deeply on his experiences as a Native Oklahoman to make Reservation Dogs a true-to-life and incredibly funny story of youth, courage and misadventures.” As for Harjo’s own sentiments, he declared that “[a]s longtime friends, it was only natural that Taika and I found a project together, and what better than a show that celebrates the complementary storytelling styles of our indigenous communities–mine in Oklahoma and Taika’s in Aotearoa.”
There’s no word on a specific release date yet for Reservation Dogs, but the pilot already shot in Okmulgee, and eight episodes will arrive sometime in 2021.