Following the release of “Thor: Rangarok”, Taika Waititi basically has free reign to make whatever weird and wonderful movie he wants.
So what’s the director to do? When constrained by a small budget, he made a vampire mockumentary. When given a little more free reign, he made a movie about an old man and a teenage boy living rough in the New Zealand wilderness.
When given a Marvel budget, he made a Norse mythology rock opera. It’s safe to say that Taika Waititi’s filmography doesn’t exactly follow a linear path.
The director’s new movie, “Jojo Rabbit”, is going to take things further than ever before.
According to Variety, Scarlett Johansson has been cast in the lead role of the movie, which will, ostensibly, be a comedy, much the same as Waititi’s other films.
This makes sense – Johansson is a talented actor, and has proven capable of some fantastic comedic roles, even if the movies in question have hardly ever made much of a dent in her reputation for playing steely superheroes in movies like “Avengers”, “Lucy”, and “Ghost in the Shell”.
Here’s where things get weird, though.
Apparently, Johansson will play a German woman during World War II, who inadvertently discovers a young Jewish boy hiding in her home.
Wow. That’s certainly a departure for Waititi, as he’s not generally known for tackling such overtly morbid and depressing subject matter in his films.
Things get weirder – apparently, Waititi himself will play the Jewish boy’s imaginary friend, who is also Hitler.
It’s possible that all of Waititi’s newfound power has gone to his head.
Either that, or he’s been watching a lot of Mel Brooks, and figures that Springtime for Hitler, the fictional play from “The Producers”, feels like a good project to emulate.
Perhaps Waititi’s got a grand plan here that doesn’t seem readily apparent.
After all, comedy can be used to create poignant social commentary, especially when it involves tackling difficult subject matter. Given the rise of Neo-Nazi movements in the modern era, Waititi might be looking for an opportunity to pull off a “Great Dictator” type role; ridiculing and belittling one of history’s most hated men for the sake of making a point about modern society.
Whatever the director has planned, it seems that “Jojo Rabbit” is going to be a weird movie.
We’d expect nothing less of Taika Waititi.