2019 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: #41. Taika Waititi – Jojo Rabbit
A longstanding friend of the festival (I think I’ve walked by him three dozen times at the HQ in Park City), Taika Waititi might be unpacking the timely (who knew there were nazi theatregoers watching Fiddler on the Roof?) Jojo Rabbit – 2012 Black List screenplay (same year as Whiplash). Currently sans date, it all depends on what kind of strategy that the Fox Searchlight folks want to deploy — Waititi who was a recent special guest at TIFF was mum on details of the film’s progress or plans. If this does preem, this will be New Zealander actress Thomasin McKenzie return after one year after breaking out big with Leave No Trace. Production took place in May in Prague and also stars Roman Griffin Davis, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson and Waititi himself.
Gist: Based on the book Caging Skies by Christine Leunens, Jojo “Rabbit” Betzler is a young boy living during World War II. His only escapism is through his imaginary friend, an ethnically inaccurate version of Adolf Hitler, who pushes the young boy’s naive patriotic beliefs. However, this all changes when a young girl challenges those views and causes Jojo to face his own issues.
Production Co./Producers: Taika Waititi, Carthew Neal and Chelsea Winstanley
Prediction: Premieres category.
U.S. Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures.