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23rd Jul 2019

First trailer for Taika Waititi’s new movie displays all the mad genius we’ve come to expect from him

Wil Jones

From visionistical director, Taika Waititi

New Zealand comedy auteur Taika Waititi first came to international attention with delightful and wonderful comedies set in his homeland like What We Do In The Shadows and Hunt For The Wilderpeople. Then, he was given a big Marvel movie and somehow managed to turn the previously-meh Thor franchise into a day-glo rock opera masterpiece.

Next up, he’s heading back to Asgard* to direct Thor: Love and Thunder, which will see Natalie Portman take up the mantle of the Mjolnir, and he’s also meant to be making the long-in-the-works Hollywood version of Akira, seemingly being the only man who can make that not a trainwreck. He’s also doing a voice in the new Rick & Morty as well.

But before all of those he’s got a smaller movie coming: Jojo Rabbit. It is set to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. And Waititi has just shared the first teaser trailer for the film.

So what is Jojo Rabbit about? Well, set in World War II, the titular Jojo is a young German body who discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is secretly harbouring a Jewish girl from the authorities. Sound like a serious Oscar-bait drama, right? Well, let’s also add in the fact that Waititi himself plays Jojo’s imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler.

It looks nuts. And brilliant.

In anyone else’s hands, that synopsis might make us fear the results could end up being hashtag-problematic. But Waititi is such a unique and joyous filmmaker, we have no such concerns as of yet.

Joining Waititi and Johansson in the cast of Jojo Rabbit are Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant and Alfie Allen.

Jojo Rabbit is due out in October.

*Yes, we know that technically Asgard got destroyed in Ragnarok, but Endgame established that there’s now a New Asgard in Norway. And that was too clunky to put in an opening paragraph, ok?