There aren’t many Marvel Studios directors that would be brave enough to follow-up one of their blockbusters with a comedy about a 10-year-old and his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler. But there aren’t any other Marvel Studios directors quite like Taika Waititi. And the filmmaker’s upcoming “Jojo Rabbit” feels just about as far away from “Thor: Ragnarok” as you can get.
In a new interview with Deadline, Waititi discussed his upcoming film about a German boy obsessed with Nazis during World War II, which stars Scarlett Johansson, Thomasin McKenzie, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen, Sam Rockwell, and Waititi himself, as a twisted version of Hitler. And according to the director, “Jojo Rabbit” is likely not what you would expect from Waititi.
“And it’s not even a super hilarious film; there’s a lot of comedy in it, but again, as with my other films, it’s more of a drama with a lot of light moments throughout,” said Waititi. “I’m not even sure if it could be construed as a comedy. It’s definitely not a broad comedy.”
He added, “Having said all that, it’s the most original way I feel I would want to look at tackling this subject.”
The subjects that Waititi tackles in ‘Jojo’ are, of course, Nazis and WWII. On paper, the film feels like it could be a hard-hitting drama that is going to push the boundaries and challenge an audience. And while it may push the boundaries and challenge, this is still a Taika Waititi film, after all. So you know that this story about Hitler isn’t the typical WWII drama.
“[My character is] like a 10-year-old kid’s version of Hitler,” the filmmaker revealed. “So he doesn’t have to share anything with actual Hitler because 10-year-olds never meet Hitler. He’s basically a 10-year-old who happens to have a tiny little mustache.”
Waititi says that because of this unique take on the infamous WWII villain, no research was required. In fact, he said that he didn’t do any research, but instead, played himself with a “bad haircut” and a “shitty little mustache.”
“It would just be too weird to play the actual Hitler, and I don’t think people would enjoy the character as much,” he continued. “Because he was such a fucking cunt, and everyone knows that as well. I think people have got to relate to really enjoy the ride.”
However, don’t misconstrue the fact that Waititi is known for his biting sense of humor and now is tackling a WWII film as some sort of shock value stunt.
The filmmaker said, “There’s no way I’d do anything just because it might be controversial and might seem like it’ll get people talking. [People from New Zealand] find that kind of shock comedy act disingenuous and fake.”
“Jojo Rabbit” is set to be released October 18, which makes it primed for the fall film festivals like TIFF a month earlier.