Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi is switching up the animal movie titles, announcing his next project will be JoJo Rabbit, not the Bubbles The Chimp movie that Netflix bought last year. And as he described the film to The Wrap, it sounds considerably less grounded in reality than a stop-motion movie about Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee.
Waititi teased the film back in November, calling it a “Nazi comedy.” Not only is the What We Do In The Shadows filmmaker directing from his own Black List script, but he’s cast himself as an imaginary Hitler in the WWII-set dramedy (we’re guessing). Here’s the original log line for the script: “After being severely hurt by a grenade at Hitler youth camp, a prideful and nationalistic ten-year old boy discovers that his mother is hiding a fifteen year old Jewish girl in their house.” That S.S.-admiring kid is a lonely one, though, who’s comforted by his imaginary friend, Hitler.
Instead of the Nazi leader most of us revile, though this Hitler is “goofy, charming, and glides through life with a child- like naivety.” As Waititi tells The Wrap, “It’s my version of… a lonely boy’s best version of his hero, which is really his dad.” Fox Searchlight is producing JoJo Rabbit, which is set to begin filming in May. It will potentially be the first film released under the new Disney-Fox banner, which is a sign that the House Of Mouse won’t force its new partner to clean up its act entirely. Last December, studio execs told Vanity Fair they “believe in Taika as a filmmaker, and we felt like this was a movie where we can make it on our scale and the right way … he doesn’t have to sand off the edges, doesn’t have to change the humor.”