The New Zealand filmmaker made his name with offbeat comedies including Hunt for The Wilderpeople and Boy, telling fresh coming of age stories from a different perspective – slicing wit and an empathetic backbone that never descends into cliché.
Jojo Rabbit stays on a similar path, but still progresses: loosely based on Christine Leunens' book Caging Skies, the film focuses on a 10-year-old boy obsessed with nationalism who must reckon with his loyalties when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their loft. And the only person he can talk to about this is his imaginary friend – Adolf Hitler.
'It would be too weird to play the actual Hitler', Waititi told Deadline, 'I don't think people would enjoy the character as much. Because he was such a f*cking c*nt, and everyone knows that as well'. There, of course, is a line, and the filmmaker is well aware of this. He claims his film is a drama peppered with lighter moments, teasing out the relief in what he is describing as an 'anti-hate satire'.
Sam Rockwell and Rebel Wilson will also star in the film, led by newcomer Roman Griffin Davis as the eponymous young boy. With such star power and confident direction (Waititi relishes such emphatic claims, referring to himself as a 'visionistical director' in the trailer), Jojo Rabbit is already warming up to be one of the most entertaining films of the next few months.
The film will be released in UK cinemas on 3 January 2020 – stay tuned for our early reactions following the film's world premiere at this year's Toronto International Film Festival in September.
|What||Jojo Rabbit: Taika Waititi's anti-hate WWII satire|
03 Jan 20 – 03 Jan 21, TIMES VARY
|Price||£ determined by cinemas|
|Website||Click here for more information|