Taika Waititi became a household name as soon as he directed Thor: Ragnarok back in 2017. Since then, he’s continued to voice Korg in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, had his hit film, What We Do in the Shadows, turned into a television series, and now has tons of other projects in the works. The director’s next film, Jojo Rabbit, hits theaters next month and will see him both in front of and behind the camera. In the film, he'll be playing a child’s imaginary friend who also happens to be Hitler. Waititi recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the film and why it was "weird" stepping into the role, especially since he is of Russian-Jewish descent.
"I felt weird about it," Waititi shared. "Even though the character in my film is not evil — he's got a 10-year-old's brain because he comes out of Jojo's head — there's elements to him that are shared with the actual guy."
However, once he found a studio to agree to make the film, he decided, "It was a kind of now or never feeling, in my head."
The director went on to share a story of filming while in costume (blue contacts, red swastika, and the infamous mustache) while having to yell over the sounds of a riverbank in order to get his directions across.
"That was a sad moment for me, yelling at the crew dressed as Adolf Hitler in public," Waititi laughed. "I looked like Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator."
Jojo Rabbit also stars Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen, and Rebel Wilson. Read the official synopsis here:
"Writer-director Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, Hunter for the Wilderpeople), brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, Jojo Rabbit, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in her attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his naive patriotism."
After Jojo Rabbit, Waititi will be also be helming Next Goal Wins, which will be based on the documentary of the same name. He’ll also be returning to Marvel to direct Thor: Love and Thunder, which is expected to be released in November 2021.
Jojo Rabbit hits theaters on October 18th.