‘Jojo Rabbit’ First Trailer: Taika Waititi Tears Down Nazi Germany in Anti-Hate Satire

The release from Fox Searchlight Pictures is Waititi's first directorial effort since his MCU debut with "Thor: Ragnarok."

After earning $854 million worldwide with his Hollywood studio debut “Thor: Ragnarok,” writer-director Taika Waititi is returning to indies this fall with his anti-hate satire “Jojo Rabbit.” The Fox Searchlight release notably features Waititi in front of the camera as Adolf Hitler, but the movie’s story has a lot more on its mind than just mocking the Nazi dictator.

“Jojo Rabbit” is based on the book “Caging Skies” by Christine Leunens. The film stars newcomer Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo “Rabbit” Betzler, a young boy living in Nazi Germany with his mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson). Jojo’s imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler (Waititi), but the boy is forced to confront his nationalism after Rosie decides to hide a young Jewish girl (“Leave No Trace” breakout Thomasin McKenzie). The supporting cast also includes Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, and “Game of Thrones” Emmy nominee Alfie Allen.

Waititi became a worldwide favorite thanks to his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, and he’ll be back to write and direct the next “Thor” move, titled “Thor: Love and Thunder.” “Jojo Rabbit” marks an indie break between his two studio tentpoles and finds Waititi channeling the idiosyncratic tone of his breakout features like “Boy” and “Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” albeit with a more mature subject matter.

Fox Searchlight often finds itself in the thick of the Oscar race and is coming off a huge awards season thanks to “The Favorite,” which earned 10 Oscar nominations earlier this year and won Olivia Colman the Best Actress prize. Searchlight won Best Picture and Best Director honors with Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” the year prior. “Jojo” is one of the studio’s major Oscar hopefuls for the 2019-20 season and will screen at the Toronto International Film Festival. Searchlight is also releasing another potential contender in December with Terrence Malick’s Cannes darling “A Hidden Life.”

Fox Searchlight will open “Jojo Rabbit” in theaters October 18. Watch the first official trailer in the video below.

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