Following his breakout big-budget directorial hit Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi is soon returning to the forefront of conversation with his upcoming Nazi Germany satire Jojo Rabbit. Far from the likes of good-natured Korg, Waititi will be emulating Adolf Hitler this time around. Obviously, there was a bit of stickiness surrounding the role. Hereâ€™s what he said:
Thatâ€™s right! Taika Waititi isnâ€™t necessarily playing Hitler in Jojo Rabbit, he’s playing the titular main characterâ€™s imaginary friend version of the Nazi leader. Even still, it must have felt inherently taboo to walk on set in full Nazi garb â€“ swastika, mustache and all. Not to mention the fact heâ€™s also does double-duty as director. In Waititiâ€™s words to THR:
Awkward! Oddly enough, it seems Taika Waititiâ€™s imaginary Hitler plays as a dark-comedic relief during Jojo Rabbit. 10-year-old Jojo is the butt of jokes among the other young recruits of Hitlerâ€™s army and then he finds out his mother (played by Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.
Taika Waititi had been trying to get his screenplay for Jojo Rabbit — an adaptation of Christine Leunensâ€™ novel Caging Skies — made for eight years before Fox Searchlight gave him the greenlight to direct it in 2018. Thor: Ragnarokâ€™s success the fall prior certainly must have had something to do with it. For the near decade heâ€™d been trying to get it made, his goofy Hitler was met with scares and rejections.
Jojo Rabbit may have controversial roots, but itâ€™s perhaps part of the reason why the movie is getting so much buzz ahead of Oscar season. The movie is one of Toronto International Film Festivalâ€™s most anticipated films. Stay tuned for reactions following its premiere this Sunday, September 8.
Why the packed schedule, you might ask? Taika Waititi said, â€œitâ€™s just nice to be wanted, sometimes.â€�