Taika Waititi 'Excited to Ridicule Nazis' as Jojo Rabbit Begins Filming

Taika Waititi on the set of Thor Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi has begun filming his new movie, Jojo Rabbit, and he promises that it's "going to piss off a lot of racists." The New Zealand-born actor and filmmaker made his feature directorial debut in 2007 with Eagle vs Shark, and has since firmly established himself as a purveyor of quirky laugh-out-loud humor - a talent that propelled him all the way to Hollywood, where he directed the highest-grossing and best-reviewed entry in the Thor franchise.

Jojo Rabbit stars Rebel Wilson, Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell, while newcomer Roman Griffin plays the titular character, Jojo, a young boy in World War II Germany. Waititi will also appear in the movie as Jojo's imaginary friend, Hitler.

Related: Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit Casts Rebel Wilson

Fox Searchlight today announced that Jojo Rabbit has begun principal photography in and around Prague, in the Czech Republic. The movie doesn't have a release date yet, but we can probably expect to see it in theaters early next year. The press release was accompanied by the following statement from Waititi:

"I’m stoked to begin shooting my anti-war satire. We’ve assembled an incredible cast and I couldn’t be more excited to finally ridicule Nazis and their beliefs. This film is going to piss off a lot of racists and that makes me very happy."

Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi in What We Do In the Shadows

Jojo Rabbit is based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens, about a boy who enthusiastically joins the Hitler Youth, but then discovers that his parents are hiding a young Jewish woman in their home in order to protect her from the Nazis. It sounds like the movie will stray slightly from the book, but retain the same core story. The official synopsis follows:

The story follows an awkward young German boy (Roman Griffin Davis) raised by a single mother (Scarlett Johansson), and whose only ally is his imaginary friend Hitler (Waititi). His naïve patriotism is tested when he meets a young girl (Thomasin McKenzie) who upends his world views, forcing him to face his biggest fears.

Waititi's previous films include the hilarious supernatural mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, which delivered plenty of laughs amid buckets of gore, so he's no stranger to pairing dark subject matter with humor. Ragnarok's success has made the director a celebrity in his own right, and there are plenty of people who are keen to see what he has to offer next. We'll be sure to keep you updated on Jojo Rabbit as production continues.

More: Taika Waititi Delivers Very Funny Introduction to Thor: Ragnarok

Source: Fox Searchlight

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