Taika Waititi stole pieces of 'The Hobbit' set to use for 'What We Do in the Shadows'

On The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Wednesday night, New Zealand filmmaker and actor Taika Waititi shared a Hobbit-sized secret regarding the popular film franchise directed by fellow NZ director Peter Jackson.

"When I did What We Do in the Shadows, when Jermaine and I were shooting that, we didn't have much money to do that film," shared Waititi. "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."

According to Waititi, the house in his 2014 film What We Do in the Shadows was built out of The Hobbit's timber and green screen. There was about a $200 million, give or take, budget difference between Waititi's What We Do in the Shadows and Jackson's second Hobbit film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), which, as Waititi pointed out, had already wrapped, so Jackson probably didn't care. Although, according to the Thor: Love and Thunder director, Jackson also likely doesn't know.

"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," admitted Waititi.

Video Transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

TAIKA WAITITI: When I did "What We Do in the Shadows," when Jermaine and I were shooting that, we didn't have much money to do that film. And "The Hobbit" was just-- it just wrapped. And so our production designer-- man, I don't know if she told the. OK, but I will.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

KYLIE MAR: New Zealand filmmaker and actor, Taika Waititi, appeared on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" Wednesday night, where he shared a Hobbit-sized secret regarding the popular film franchise directed by fellow NZ director Peter Jackson.

TAIKA WAITITI: 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.

KYLIE MAR: Taika's production team also stole timber from "The Hobbit" set, which he used to build the house in his 2014 film, "What We Do in the Shadows." There was about a $200 million budget difference between Taika's "What We Do in the Shadows" and Jackson's second Hobbit film, which, as Taika pointed out, had already wrapped. So I'm pretty sure Jackson doesn't care. Although, apparently, [LAUGHS] he also doesn't know.

TAIKA WAITITI: I have never talked to Peter Jackson about this.

[LAUGHTER]

I don't know if he knows.

[BANG]

I like telling it at parties, that story. But I don't know if he actually knows. Um.

[LAUGHTER]

[AUDIO LOGO]

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