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Taika Waititi, a Polynesian Jew, Will Play Hitler in His New Satirical Film

taika waititi hitler

Taika Waititi is having a big week. First, it was announced that the Jewish-Māori director would be returning to the Thor franchise. Then came the amazing news that he would be directing Natalie Portman as Thor. (OMG.) And now, Waititi took to Twitter to share a teaser trailer of yet another film project, Jojo Rabbit —which, in case you haven’t heard, is a comedy about Hitler.

The movie is billed as “an anti-hate satire.” And not only is Waititi is directing the film, he is playing Hitler. Why? “The answer is simple,” he said. “What better fuck you to that guy?”

Waititi’s mom’s family are Russian Jews, and his dad’s family are from the Te Whānau-ā-Apanui Māori people. In another tweet, he wrote, “What better way to insult Hitler than having him portrayed by a Polynesian Jew?”

The film is set to premiere October 18, and it’s based on the book Caging Skies. It takes place during World War II, when a young German boy finds out his mom (played by Jewish actress Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their home. The boy turns to an imaginary friend — who happens to be Hitler.

Waititi did zero research on Hitler, because, as he said, “He’s not really Hitler. He’s like a 10-year-old kid’s version of Hitler. So he doesn’t have to share anything with actual Hitler, because 10-year-olds never meet Hitler. He’s basically a 10-year-old who happens to have a tiny little mustache.”

He added: “I just made him a version of myself that happened to have a bad haircut and a shitty little mustache. And a mediocre German accent. It would just be too weird to play the actual Hitler, and I don’t think people would enjoy the character as much. Because he was such a f*cking c**t, and everyone knows that as well. I think people have got to relate to really enjoy the ride.”

Watch the trailer here:

Header image of Taika Waititi in header by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images; background still via Jojo Rabbit/YouTube.

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