On Tuesday, shortly after being announced as an official selection for the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, the first trailer for Taika Waititi’s new film JoJo Rabbit was released. The movie hits theaters October 18th.
Described as a “World War II satire,” the film follows JoJo (Roman Griffin Davis, in his first major film role), a lonely and bullied German boy who joins the Hitler Youth as its fascist leader rises to power. When JoJo learns that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic, he must confront his prejudiced and nationalistic beliefs and decide which side of history he’ll be on.
Along with directing and writing the film, Waititi also stars in it as a bumbling “imaginary friend” version of Adolf Hitler, who appears in JoJo’s daydreams. In the trailer, as JoJo broods over his low social standing, Hitler quips with a shrug, “Let them say whatever they want! People used to say a lot of nasty things about me, ‘Oh this guy’s a lunatic, look at that psycho, he’s going to get us all killed!'”
JoJo Rabbit is based on the Christine Leunens book Caging Skies. The cast also includes Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen and Sam Rockwell. This past weekend at San Diego ComicCon, Waititi announced that he was also slated to direct Disney/Marvel’s 2021 superhero film Thor: Love and Thunder, a follow-up to his 2017 effort Thor: Ragnarok. Tessa Thompson will reprise her role as Valkyrie, who is named “king” of Asgard and goes looking in search of a new queen, becoming the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first openly LGBT character.