At Comic-Con this weekend, Taika Waititi revealed that he will be returning to the Thor franchise after the success of Ragnarok but, before he returns to Asgard - or what’s left of it - he’s playing Adolf Hitler.
Viewers got their first look at Waititi’s take on the Nazi leader today as the filmmaker unveiled the first trailer for Jojo Rabbit, described on screen as an “anti-hate satire”.
The comedy tells the story of the titular Hitler Youth member, who consults his imaginary friend - Waititi’s buffoonish Führer - when he discovers that his mother is concealing a Jewish girl in their home.
Waititi, who serves as writer-director as well as star, shared the trailer to his fans on Twitter, in the wake of its addition to the line-up for the Toronto International Film Festival.
From "Visionistical" director, Teeka Wachichi, here's a "teezer traylor", for my anti-hate satire, #JojoRabbit, in theaters October 18. @rebelwilson @alfieeallen #ThomasinMcKenzie #RomanGriffinDavis @stephenmerchant #samrockwell #scarlettjohansson @jojorabbitmovie #visionistical pic.twitter.com/8o8X8cyJTD— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) July 23, 2019
The film is an unusual proposition, particularly as Waititi has spoken about doing no research into the role, deliberately avoiding any attempt at a truthful portrayal of Hitler.
It is adapted from the 2008 novel Caging Skies, written by Christine Leunens.
Waititi has described the imaginary Hitler as being a lonely child’s best approximation of their hero - their dad - in what appears to be a return to the themes of his 2010 coming-of-age story Boy.
As well as showcasing Waititi’s Hitler, the trailer also offers glimpses of the wider cast including Scarlett Johansson, Stephen Merchant, Rebel Wilson, Sam Rockwell and Alfie Allen.
Waititi has a lot on his plate at the moment, with Thor: Love and Thunder set to be released in 2021, reintroducing Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster as a hammer-wielding successor to Thor.
He is also still working on a live-action Akira movie, although that project is understood to be on the back-burner, as well as being tasked with “cracking” plans for an animated take on Flash Gordon.
Read more: Akira on hold due to casting difficulties
Jojo Rabbit will have its world premiere at TIFF in September and will be released in the States on 18 October.
Its UK release is not set to take place until January 2020, leaving British fans of Waititi with a nightmarish wait for the movie to arrive.