Taika Waititi looks to have found his leading for his next project, World War II feature, Jojo Rabbit, in the form of Scarlett Johansson. The Avengers and Isle of Dogs Actress is said to be in final negotiations with Fox Searchlight.
The production will tell the story of a young German boy during World War II, who finds out that his mother, to be played by Johansson, is hiding a Jewish girl in their home. Waititi had met with Johansson to talk about the role whilst filming the pilot for What We Do in the Shadows.
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Waititi will star as a comedic version of Hitler in the film. “After being severely hurt by a grenade at Hitler youth camp, a prideful and nationalistic ten-year old boy discovers that his mother is hiding a fifteen-year-old Jewish girl in their house,” reads Jojo Rabbit’s logline. “The boy’s imaginary friend is a version of Hitler that is far removed from reality, with Waititi describing him as “goofy” and “charming”.
Waititi penned the script and will produce alongside Carthew Neal and Chelsea Winstanley. Once Johansson has been locked in, Waititi will look to cast his young star.
After Waititi’s roaring success with Thor: Ragnarok, he has become hot property in Hollywood with numerous scripts being sent in his direction. However, he has made Jojo Rabbit his next top priority before venturing down another route. Waititi’s other upcoming projects include a Netflix movie based on Michael Jackson’s chimp, and he is in talks to direct a live-action feature film adaptation of Akira.
Johannson has a voice role in this weeks release of Wes Anderson’s charming Isle of Dogs and will be seen in Avengers: Infinity War in April.
Production is expected to start on Jojo Rabbit this spring.