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‘Jojo Rabbit’ teaser continues tradition of mocking Hitler

Posted at 1:12 PM, Jul 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-23 15:12:43-04

The new teaser trailer for Taika Waititi’s upcoming dark comedy “Jojo Rabbit” promises to “go to war on hate” — which may be an interesting choice of words as the “Thor: Love and Thunder” writer-director appears in the dark comedy as Adolf Hitler.

Waititi wrote and directed the movie, which is based on Christine Leunens’ book “Caging Skies.” It focuses on a bullied German boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) who has an imaginary friend who takes the form of the Nazi dictator. Things are increasingly complicated because his mother, who is played by Scarlett Johansson, is protecting a young Jewish girl by letting her hide in their attic.

While all of this sounds deeply upsetting and some may say it parallels too close to real life, “Jojo” is billed is an “anti-hate satire” and is far from the only project to make a mockery out of Hitler. In the most recent season of Netflix’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” host Jerry Seinfeld talks with Matthew Broderick about Mel Brooks’ “The Producers,” which follows two theater producers looking to make the worst play ever and settle on a script that depicts Hitler as a hero. Broderick, who co-starred in a musical adaptation of that seminal movie on both Broadway and in film, reminds that the first iteration of “The Producers” came out in 1967 — barely 20 years after the end of World War II.

Brooks, who served in World War II, has frequently mocked Hitler through works like 1981’s “History of the World: Part 1” and the 1983 remake of Ernst Lubitsch’s comedy “To Be or Not to Be” (which, itself, was released in the middle of the war in 1942). Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” was released in 2009 and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning the supporting actor trophy for Christoph Waltz, who played the sadistic SS colonel Hans Landa.

“Jojo Rabbit” will be released on October 18. It also stars Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen and Sam Rockwell.