Jewish-Maori director (and Jewish dad!) Taika Waititi — the New Zealander who brought us Thor: Ragnarok — is attached to a new project: Jojo Rabbit. The movie will not have Jeff Goldblum (sad), but it will tell the World War II tale of a German boy who learns his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.
And Waititi just cast the mother: Scarlett Johansson.
This appears to be Johansson’s first time playing a mom on the big screen. But fear not: she can draw on experience in her own life. The 33-year-old Jewish mom has a four-year-old daughter, Rose Dorothy. Over the past year or so, she was engaged in a custody battle with her ex-husband Romain Dauriac, whose lawyer passive-aggressively said Johansson is “too busy to be a mom.”
(As if, you know, it’s impossible to be a working mom. As if.)
The film is expected to be dark and satiric. As the synopsis explains, Jojo Rabbit “blends [Waititi’s] signature humor, pathos, and deeply compelling characters in a World War II satire about a ten-year-old boy who, ridiculed by his peers and misunderstood by his mother, can’t quite figure out how to fit in. As the naïve young German struggles to understand his place in an increasingly Fascist regime, he resorts to an imaginary friend who can offer advice and help him cope.”
That imaginary friend? Adolf Hitler. And, in a weird turn of events, Waititi has cast himself as the pretend Hitler.
A Variety article “Can Taika Waititi’s Next Movie Make Adolf Hitler Charming?” explains “there is, of course, plenty of precedent for films using humor to address Hitler.”
We’re very curious to see how this all turns out.