What We Do in the Shadows: Taika Waititi Reveals Hilarious Tie to The Hobbit

Movie fans might most associate the cinema of New Zealand with Peter Jackson's fantastical The Lord of the Rings films, but those worlds aren't the only films that have unfolded in the country, with one breakout filmmaker being Thor: Love and Thunder's Taika Waititi. Other than production unfolding in the same country, Waititi recently recalled a hilarious connection his breakout mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows had to Jackson's films, as he revealed he stole discarded sets from Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy to build the sets for his satirical horror-comedy that helped launch his career.

"When I did What We Do in the Shadows, when [co-director] Jemaine [Clement] and I were shooting that, we didn't have much money to do that film, and The Hobbit had just wrapped," Waititi recalled on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. "And so our production designer -- man, I don't know if I should tell this. 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. The house in What We Do in the Shadows is built out of The Hobbit's green screen."

Waititi joked, "And I had never talked to Peter Jackson about this. I don't know if he knows, I like telling it at parties, that story, but I don't know if he actually knows."

Regardless of whether Jackson knows, the two filmmakers do share some other similarities, mainly in regard to their career trajectories. Jackson's earliest films were incredibly graphic and gruesome experiences like Bad Taste, Dead Alive, and Meet the Feebles, only then to be enlisted to develop The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This catapulted the filmmaker into the world of blockbusters, earning him immense box-office success and critical acclaim. 

Similarly, Waititi made a name for himself in independent films like What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which would go on to earn him gigs helming Thor: Ragnarok, Thor: Love and Thunder, and an upcoming Star Wars film. What We Do in the Shadows was also adapted into a TV series for FX, which is entering its fourth season.

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Stay tuned for details on future Waititi projects.

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