Taika Waititi's "Jojo Rabbit"scored big at the Toronto International Film Festival. It won the People's Choice Award and is now eyeing the Oscars.
The film is set in the 1940s and is about a young German Boy who imagines idol Adolf Hitler as his imaginary friend. He discovers that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their house. The film is described as an "anti-hate satire". The movie is based on the book "Caging Skies," by Christine Leunens.
After eight years of struggle finally, Fox Searchlight agreed to produce "Jojo Rabbit," only on the condition that Taika Waititi himself plays the role of 'Führer'. The movie also stars Scarlett Johansson as the boy's mother and Roman Griffin Davis as the Jewish girl.
The journey of the movie began after he decided to do a movie based on the novel "Caging Skies" in 2011. He knew that it's a tricky topic. In an interview to the Hollywood Reporter he said, "And I don't really care too much about making a film about their point of view." He added that he wanted to make it interesting for himself.
To enhance the satirical tone of the novel, Waititi introduced the new character "The Führer" played by him as an imaginary friend of Jojo.
He admitted all A-list stars who were given the script appreciated the thought but finally gave up. He said, "I think it was a little difficult for people to figure out if it was a good career move." He added it was difficult for people to see themselves as Adolf Hitler on a poster.
This isn't the first time the filmmaker is playing a role in his own film. Waititi earlier starred in his film, "Boy" and his 2014 vampire comedy, "What We Do in the Shadows".
Jojo Rabbit's huge success at the Toronto Film Festival made it a direct contender for the Oscars following the footsteps of the winner "Green Book".
The previous People's Choice Award winning films were Slumdog Millionaire, The King's Speech and 12 Years A Slave, all of which went on to be named Best Film at the Academy Awards.