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Wellington Paranormal - What We Know So Far

"Wellington Paranormal," the spin-off series to the original "What We Do in the Shadows" film, is coming to U.S. television. The show has been airing in New Zealand since 2018 but has finally inked a distribution deal with the CW and HBO Max, according to Bloody Disgusting.

The original "What We Do in the Shadows" mockumentary was made in 2014. Written and directed by "Flight of the Conchords" star Jemaine Clement and "Thor: Ragnarok" director Taika Waititi, the film starred the two men as half of a household of Kiwi vamps. The film also co-starred Jonathan Brugh, Ben Fransham, Jackie van Beek, and Cori Gonzalez-MacuerIt. It spun off a critically acclaimed TV series in America, starring Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillén, and Mark Proksch. It also spun off "Wellington Paranormal" in New Zealand. The show explores supernatural themes with a mockumentary lens: "The Office" meets "The X Files" in essence.

When does Wellington Paranormal premiere?

The TV show premieres in the U.S. on two different dates, one for terrestrial TV and one for streaming. First, the show premieres on the CW on July 11, 2021. The episode will then drop on HBO Max the following day. According to Variety, "Wellington Paranormal" is the first co-acquisition by the CW and HBO Max.

The third season of "Wellington Paranormal" debuted in New Zealand earlier in 2021, and Bloody Disgusting reported that filming has already begun on a fourth season of the show as well. "The horror comedy will premiere on The CW sometime this summer," wrote Variety, "and episodes will then be available the next day to stream on HBO Max (as well as on the ad-supported CW app and CWTV.com)." This report suggests that episodes will be added to the streamer on a week-by-week basis, following a similar, old-school distribution method as HBO's "The Nevers."

Who is in the cast of Wellington Paranormal

"Wellington Paranormal" follows Officers O'Leary (played by Karen O'Leary) and Minogue (played by Mike Minogue), who appeared in a scene of the "What We Do in the Shadows" movie. In the film, the officers are called to the house where our somewhat friendly neighborhood vampires live, and they are compelled to not notice all the murder that surrounds them. They are joined on the show by Sergeant Ruawai Maaka (played by Māori actor/musician Maaka Pohatu).

Nick, the naive newbie vamp from "Shadows," played by Cori Gonzalez-MacuerIt, makes a cameo on the show. "Flight of the Conchords" actor Rhys Darby also briefly reprises his role as werewolf (not swear wolf) Anton. Anton leads the Wellington werewolf pack and has been working on their manners. 

Minogue got his start as many New Zealand film workers did, on the "Lord of the Rings" movies. He was a production runner on "Return of the King," before being cast in the drama "Separation City." Karen O'Leary's first role was as the police officer in "Shadows." Besides acting, Maaka Pohatu is a founding member of the Modern Māori Quartet.

What is the plot of Wellington Paranormal?

"Wellington Paranormal" follows the cops from "What We Do in the Shadows" as they encounter any number of supernatural beings. As seen in the original film, these police officers, who are members of Wellington PD's Paranormal unit, are ill-equipped to handle the beasties that stalk the New Zealand night. Still, they make a go of it, encountering such spooky foes as demons, aliens, and zombies. The world of "What We Do in the Shadows" already had werewolves and vampires, so it only makes sense that TV adaptations would bring in the fantasy kitchen sink. Everything is real. 

Like the "What We Do in the Shadows" movie and FX series, "Wellington Paranormal" is shot in a mockumentary style. The faux doc style has roots in both horror and comedy, making it a perfect fit for a horror-comedy. Mockumentary TV shows exploded in popularity after the success of both the British and American versions of "The Office," and found-footage horror got a big bump with films like "The Blair Witch Project" and the "Paranormal Activity" series.