Why Doug Jones Should Play Slender Man in the “What We Do in the Shadows” TV Series

Matthew Loffhagen
Paramount Pictures
(Photo: Paramount Pictures)

The “What We Do in the Shadows” TV series is progressing nicely, as a new casting list has now announced some of the actors who’ll be involved with the project.

There are a lot of fantastic actors and comedians attached to this show already,  but one new name stands out from the crowd: Doug Jones is joining this vampire mockumentary sitcom, and this is possibly the best news ever.

You have almost definitely seen Doug Jones in something by this point. The incredibly lean tall actor plays Saru in Star Trek: Discovery, and played the fish man Abe Sapien in three movies: “Hellboy”, “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army”, and “The Shape of Water” (although in that last one he’s never actually referred to as Abe, but we all know where Guillermo del Toro got his ideas from).

This year, another Doug Jones movie will be released. Sony Pictures has made a somewhat offensive film about the popular internet creepypasta meme Slender Man, and Jones, himself a somewhat slender man naturally, has been well cast in the titular role.

Sarek in Star Trek Discovery
Source: CBS

The film is pretty repugnant from a moral standpoint, taking inspiration from a real life attempted murder that was undertaken by a pair of mentally ill teenage girls, and then weaving in an actual supernatural horror mystery into the story.

With the “What We Do in the Shadows” TV show, there’s an opportunity to fix this mess by getting Doug Jones to play the character of Slender Man again, but this time stripping away all of his terrifying horror in favor of turning him into a goofy supernatural Everyman.

This is the point of the movie version of “What We Do in the Shadows”; the story revolves around poking fun at supernatural beings. Logically, the TV show will show us more of these horror creatures in a larger, more populated world, so we’ll see more than just vampires and swearwolves werewolves.

Slender Man
Source: Sony Pictures

It’s not like Sony controls any rights to Slender Man. While the character does have a single definitive creator, so much of the character’s mythos was created by the internet, as many different people chipped in to add to Slender Man’s public perception. It’d be easy to tweak a few details of the monster and create something that would be distinct for the show; a version of Slendy that can be poked fun at for comedic purposes.

Of course, it’s unlikely that the team working on the “What We Do in the Shadows” show will want to include Slender Man in the tale. Throwing in Doug Jones as literally any tall, slender horror monster would do the job.

That said, giving us a live action Slender Man that feels more silly and cute would certainly help to make this TV show stand out from the film that inspired it, and would do something to fix the egregious mistakes that Sony is making with their film.

After all, with his long, creepy arms and his fondness for a life in the woods, Slendy is definitely one fictional character who certainly has some stories to tell of the time he spends in the shadows.