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Director Taika Waititi has added Pitch Perfect actress Rebel Wilson to the cast of his WWII satire Jojo Rabbit. Fresh off his triumph on Thor: Ragnarok, a box office blockbuster with $854 million grossed worldwide, Waititi will next write, direct and star in a movie about a 10-year-old Nazi who imagines he is friends with Adolf Hitler. And Waititi himself will play the role of imaginary Hitler.
Of course, before taking on duties as director of an MCU movie, Waititi was a very quirky filmmaker from New Zealand who became known through his work on offbeat projects like the series Flight of the Conchords, and movies like What We Do In the Shadows. With his Nazi satire, Jojo Rabbit, Waititi returns to the kind of truly oddball stuff he was doing before Thor: Ragnarok, an amusing movie that benefited from Waititi's sensibilities while still remaining a mostly straight-forward comic book film.
Already Waititi has added Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell to the cast of Jojo Rabbit, the latter in the role of a Nazi captain (because Rockwell never shies away from playing creeps). Now the film has added another key piece with the casting of Rebel Wilson, who will play a character named Fraulein Rahm, as reported by Deadline. The character is described as a "brutish" Hitler Youth instructor who, among other things, tells her pupils that Jewish people are the embodiment of mythical creatures.
In the story, the as-yet-uncast young central protagonist believes the stories told to him by Fraulein Rahm and the other Nazis who control his world, and sees Jewish people as less-than-human. But one day he discovers the young Jewish girl his mother (Johansson) has been hiding in their home, and gradually he overcomes what the Nazis have taught him and sees the girl as human. At the same time, the confused young man converses with his imaginary friend Hitler as he tries to make sense of his world.
Clearly, this is a daring concept and one that will be tricky for Waititi to pull off without offending large numbers of people. Waititi himself has the hard job of playing Hitler, but Rockwell and now Wilson are also signing on for parts that could potentially be tough to bring off. Wilson of course has projected an edgy comic persona on-film at times, but playing a "brutish" Nazi instructor who teaches children to hate Jews goes beyond edgy. In addition to Jojo Rabbit, Wilson has also signed on to star with Anne Hathaway in The Hustle, a remake of the comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. She also has the lead in Isn't It Romantic, a comedy co-starring Thor's brother Liam Hemsworth and Priyanka Chopra.