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Taika Waititi’s Oscar Hopeful ‘Jojo Rabbit’ Gets Meta With ‘Downfall’ Hitler Meme

Writer/director/star Taika Waititi's anti-hate satire "Jojo Rabbit" has some ingenious tricks up its marketing sleeves.

Jojo Rabbit

“Jojo Rabbit”

Kimberley French

Writer/director/star Taika Waititi’s anti-hate satire “Jojo Rabbit” — about a young boy (Roman Griffin Davis) in Nazi Germany, whose imaginary best friend is Adolf Hitler (Waititi) — has some ingenious tricks up its marketing sleeves. The film’s Twitter account has gone full meta.

The account has posted its own spin on the infamous “Hitler Meme,” a 15-year-old viral parody taken from the climactic scene of Oliver Hirschbiegel’s controversial 2004 German-language film “Downfall,” about the last days of Herr Wolf. If you haven’t seen the meme, and here’s a topical example, it’s taken from a scene wherein Hitler bemoans his enemies, shrivels into a crybaby and more or less accepts defeat.

The “Jojo Rabbit” twist on the meme, which you can check out below, sees Hitler first decrying the meme itself, as well as Waititi’s status as a “Polynesian Jew,” before commending Waititi’s 2017 mega-hit “Thor: Ragnarok.” “Now that’s a movie.”

“Jojo Rabbit” is set to world-premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this September before Fox Searchlight opens the film in the fray of awards season on October 18. The cast includes Scarlett Johansson as the boy’s mother, Rosie, who decides to shelter a young Jewish girl, played by “Leave No Trace” breakout Thomasin McKenzie. Rounding out the supporting cast are Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, “Game of Thrones” Emmy nominee Alfie Allen and “Extras” star/producer Stephen Merchant. The film is based on Christine Leunens’ 2008 novel “Caging Skies.”

Waititi is beloved in both the indie and blockbuster film communities. After shouldering “Ragnarok” to an $854 million box-office take, he’s set to direct the follow-up film, “Thor: Love and Thunder.” He’s also basking in success on television, with his 2019 series “What We Do in the Shadows” now a cult hit, and recently renewed for a second season on FX. Waititi also helmed an episode of Jon Favreau’s upcoming outer-space western series for Starz, “The Mandalorian.” Waititi’s early breakouts as director included TV’s “Flight of the Conchords,” and quirky indies “Boy” and “Eagle vs Shark.”

Reportedly, Waititi even managed to woo Natalie Portman back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from which she’d been on hiatus, for “Love and Thunder” after one meeting. Now that’s a movie star.

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