Taika Waititi Is an, Uh, Imaginary Hitler in the Trailer for 'Jojo Rabbit'

It's about a German boy and his imaginary friend—who happens to be Adolf Hitler.
July 23, 2019, 8:12pm
Jojo Rabbit
screenshot via trailer

Taika Waititi can do no wrong. The director leaped from beloved indie filmmaker into the A-list when he single-handedly saved one of the worst Marvel franchises—Thor—with the stellar Ragnarok, and the man basically has a free pass to do whatever he wants to now. And what he wants to do is, uh, play a really friendly Adolf Hitler in a movie, apparently.

On Tuesday, Fox Searchlight released the first trailer for Jojo Rabbit, Waititi's much-anticipated follow-up to 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, and please, just watch:

Yes, that is Taika Waititi dressed up as Hitler. Yes, he is offering some sage words of wisdom to a sad, bullied German boy. But here's the deal—Waititi isn't playing the real, historical Hitler, per se. He's actually the young boy's imaginary friend. Think of it like Calvin & Hobbes, if Hobbes was less of a tiger and more of an evil dictator.

According to the film's synopsis, Jojo Rabbit is "a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as JoJo) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism."

The film is set to premiere at TIFF this September, and will hit theaters on October 18. Until then, let the horrifyingly soothing words of Waititi as fake Hitler wash over you in the trailer above.