What We Do In the Shadows director Taika Waititi reveals that set-pieces stolen from Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy were used in the 2014 comedy.
Taika Waititi admitted that the house used in 2014’s What We Do in the Shadows was built using stolen materials from Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy.
The Thor: Love and Thunder director went into detail about the incident during a recent appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. “When I did What We Do in the Shadows when Jermaine [Clement] and I were shooting that, we didn’t have much money to do that film,” Waititi told host Stephen Colbert. “The Hobbit had just wrapped. And, so, our production designer — man, I don’t know if I should tell this. Okay, but I will. Our production designer, in the dead of night, took his crew to The Hobbit studios and stole all of the dismantled, broken-down green screens and took all of the timber, and we built a house.”
Jackson directed all three installments of The Hobbit trilogy between 2012 and 2014, while Waititi and Clement’s What We Do in the Shadows film was released in 2014. In addition to this revelation, Waititi also revealed that he has no idea if Jackson knew that they had used set pieces from The Hobbit. “I had never talked to Peter Jackson about this,” he said. “I don’t know if he knows. I like telling it at parties, that story. But I don’t know if he actually knows.”
What We Do in the Shadows — which Waititi wrote, directed, and starred in alongside Clement — centered on a group of four vampires who share a house together in Wellington, New Zealand. The mockumentary-style horror-comedy eventually led to an American television series on FX in 2019, which was recently renewed for a fifth and sixth season. When discussing how the FX series handles the rules for its vampires, series producer Stefani Robinson recently explained the surprisingly large amount of research into vampire lore done by the writers’ room.
“For the first season, we had books and books and books, like vampire textbooks — which they do make, surprisingly enough,” Robinson said. “Watching movies… and a lot of them are really contradictory. I don’t think there is one true throughline in terms of what vampires can do and can’t do across the board, maybe except the drinking blood thing.”
Waititi currently serves as an executive producer on the What We Do in the Shadows FX comedy series. Apart from that, his much-anticipated sequel to Thor: Ragnarok is set to premiere in theaters in July. In a recent interview, Waititi explained that his mission with Thor: Love and Thunder was to create something unlike anything audiences are expecting for the Marvel Cinematic Universe sequel.
What We Do in the Shadows returns to FX on July 12. Thor: Love and Thunder will enter theaters on July 8.
Riley DeBoer is a TV News writer for CBR who has a passion for creative stories, and hopes to one day write for a TV show. You may also know him from his author bio that you are currently reading right now!