Taika Waititi has emerged has one of the most exciting filmmakers in the world over the last few years – bringing his off-beat humour and irreverent warmth to both independent films such as Hunt For The Wilderpeople and studio behemoths like Thor: Ragnarok.
And now the New Zealander is back with a new project – and one with a particularly intriguing premise. Here’s everything you need to know about JoJo Rabbit, now nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars 2020.
Having already appeared frequently on the film festival circuit, UK cinemagoers can the film from New Year’s Day (1st January) 2020.
What is JoJo Rabbit about?
Labelled by Waititi as an “anti-hate satire” the film concerns a Hitler Youth, the eponymous JoJo Rabbit, who discovers that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in the attic of their house, and must wrestle with both his beliefs and his imaginary friend – an idiotic version of Adolf Hitler.
We did say the premise was intriguing…
Is JoJo Rabbit based on a book?
Yes, at least partially. Waititi used New Zealand-Belgian author Christine Leunens’ novel Caging Skies as the basis for the script, with the film considered a loose adaptation of the first half of that novel.
Who stars in JoJo Rabbit?
Waititi himself stars as Hitler in the film, while the cast also includes Hollywood A-listers Scarlett Johansson (Avengers: Endgame, Marriage Story) and Sam Rockwell (Vice, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).
Roman Griffin Davis makes his screen debut as the titular character, while Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace, The King) plays Elsa – the Jewish girl in hiding in JoJo’s family home.
Also appearing are Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect), Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones) and Stephen Merchant (Logan).
Is there a trailer?
Yes – and you can watch it below.
What’s been said about the film so far?
As you might expect from a film dealing with such delicate subject matter, the film has prompted a fairly mixed response from critics who have seen it thus far – drawing both praise for its irreverent humour and heart, and criticism for its perceived poor taste.