The new trailer for Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit is even stranger than the film’s initial teaser — Waititi, as (an imaginary) Adolf Hitler, eats a unicorn head made out of sliced meat — but also gives us a clearer look at the “anti-hate satire.”
Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) is blindly faithful to the Hitler Youth, and his imaginary friend just so happens to be Hitler. However, when he discovers that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish woman, Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie), in their house, he finds his beliefs shaken. His resolve wavers as he begins to bond with Elsa despite the Nazi ruling that she is “the enemy,” and his imaginary friendship comes under strain. “You’re not a Nazi, Jojo,” she tells him. “You’re a ten-year-old who likes dressing up in a funny uniform and wants to be part of a club.”
Set to German-language covers of “I’m a Believer” and “Heroes,” the trailer also provides more of a look at Sam Rockwell (apparently Hollywood’s go-to actor for racist characters) as a Nazi captain, as well as Rebel Wilson and Stephen Merchant as other Nazi party members. That said, if I had to bet money on it, I would pick Archie Yates, who plays Jojo’s pal Yorki, as the biggest scene-stealer in the film. He drops — and inadvertently sets off — a missile launcher in his enthusiasm in waving hello to Jojo, as well as proclaiming that it’s “definitely not a good time to be a Nazi.”
The film will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 8, and hit theaters on Oct. 18.