Jojo Rabbit director and star Taika Waititi shares the first image of himself playing Adolf Hitler, as the Nazi dictator enjoys dinner with Scarlett Johansson. Waititi recently kicked off filming the WW2 satire, saying he's "excited to ridicule" Nazis while promising the film will "piss off a lot of racists." The movie's cast also includes Rebel Wilson, who recently hopped aboard, together with Oscar-winner Sam Rockwell.
In the film, Waititi's Hitler is actually the imaginary friend of a young boy named Jojo Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis). When Jojo joins the Hitler Youth, his mind is filled with propaganda that paints Jewish people as inhuman monsters. But Jojo's naive beliefs are challenged when he discovers that his mother (Johansson) is harboring Elsa Korr (Thomasin McKenzie), a young Jewish girl.
In addition to tackling writing and directing chores on Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi has also elected to cast himself as Jojo's Hitler. As mentioned, filming on the satire has begun in Prague, and Waititi has now taken to Instagram to share the first image of himself in full Hitler costume, complete with hair and mustache. In the shot, Hitler shares dinner with his "friend" Jojo and Jojo's mom, as played by Johansson. See the shot below:
Though Waititi certainly looks the part in the new still, the director assures everyone this is not a historically accurate Hitler, but rather a version of the Nazi dictator as a 10-year-old boy might imagine him. In an interview, Waititi described this Hitler as "goofy and charming." The director also said his Hitler is really "a lonely boy’s best version of his hero, which is really his dad."
Comedic versions of Hitler don't come along that often, but over the years there have been a few. The most memorable was surely Charlie Chaplin's fictionalized portrayal of "Adenoid Hynkel" in his classic satire The Great Dictator. More recently, Quentin Tarantino gave us a cartoonish take on the dictator in his gleefully bloody revenge film Inglourious Basterds. Last year, the AMC series Preacher imagined Hitler as a a denizen of hell who becomes mentor to the luckless Eugene Root. And YouTube has created its own funny version of Hitler using clips of Bruno Ganz's demented performance in the serious drama Downfall, with new subtitles making the dictator rant maniacally about everything from Starbucks to iPhones to Miley Cyrus.
Now, Waititi hopes to pull off a "goofy and charming" version of one of history's most notorious figures. The director undoubtedly possesses a talent for quirky comedy, as he once again proved in last year's blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok. Jojo Rabbit looks like it will be Waititi's most outrageous movie yet.
Source: Taika Waititi/Instagram