Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit has officially been scheduled for an October 2019 premiere. After reinventing the God of Thunder in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, the fan-favorite New Zealand filmmaker is going back to his roots with his latest project. Jojo Rabbit follows young Jojo Betzler, a boy in Hitler's army who discovers his mother is sheltering a Jewish child in their home. As one might expect, this causes a great deal of confusion for Jojo, and his views of the world are greatly challenged.
With Waititi directing an all-star cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, and Waititi himself as an imaginary version of Adolf Hitler, Jojo Rabbit has the potential to be one of the more unique offerings of the year. However, as a Fox Searchlight project, there were lingering questions about its eventual release. In the wake of the Disney/Fox deal going through, the Mouse House has been altering Fox's upcoming slate, canceling and delaying certain projects. Jojo Rabbit was conspicuously absent from Disney's updated release schedule last week, but now Waititi fans can rest easy knowing the director's latest is only a handful of months away.
Per The Wrap, Jojo Rabbit will hit theaters on October 18, 2019. There, it will open amongst a crowded field that includes Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, The Hunt, Zombieland 2: Double Tap, and a new drama starring Ben Affleck (previously known as Torrance). It's unknown if Jojo Rabbit will debut in limited release before expanding later in the year or go wide at the outset.
With Fox Searchlight distributing and the film's World War II setting, Jojo Rabbit could be one of 2019's outside-the-box awards contenders. The studio has a noteworthy track record with the Academy, releasing recent Best Picture winners such as 12 Years a Slave, Birdman, and The Shape of Water. At the 91st Academy Awards, The Favourite was Fox Searchlight's prized pony, netting 10 nominations and a Best Actress win for Olivia Colman. Simply put, it's good to have Fox Searchlight campaigning for your film, and time will tell how Jojo Rabbit fares on the circuit. It wouldn't be surprising if it screened at some of the early fall festivals to build buzz ahead of its theatrical premiere. Given Waititi's history, there's good chance Jojo Rabbit lives up to its promise.
Since an Oscar play is most likely here, it wouldn't be a shock if Jojo Rabbit initially played in a limited number of locations and went wide when the awards race heats up. Ragnarok was a huge box office success and rose Waititi's profile considerably, but Jojo Rabbit seems like the type of film that would get lost in the shuffle if it tried to compete with everything else coming out that weekend (not to mention, holdovers such as Joker and Gemini Man). Appealing to the Academy may be the priority here, but Fox Searchlight would still like to earn a return on their investment. Going wide during a less hectic time might improve the film's box office prospects. Regardless, Jojo Rabbit should be a nice counter-programming option for cinephiles whenever it opens in one's area.
Source: The Wrap