Taika Waititi was determined to tone down Jojo Rabbit so that children would be able to watch it.
The satirical World War II movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Rebel Wilson, also features a predominantly young cast, due to the titular character, who is played by 12-year-old Roman Griffin Davis, being a member of the Hitler Youth.
And the New Zealand filmmaker was keen to ensure that kids the same age as his cast members would be able to engage with the critically acclaimed movie.
“We made a real effort to make the film PG, so that young people could see it,” he told Variety. “Roman Griffin Davis showed the film to a bunch of his classmates back in London, and one of his friends said, ‘This is a film about a kid learning to think for himself.’
“And I think that’s really the ultimate goal, to try and influence people into thinking for themselves, and also thinking from the perspective of tolerance and love.”
The movie, which follows the story of Jojo as he discovers his mother has been hiding a Jewish girl in their attic, has recently been nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.
And Waititi was full of praise for Johansson, who received a Best Supporting Actress nod for her portrayal of Jojo’s mother Rosie.
“She was incredible and brought something to it that really elevated the whole thing to a level that I’d never even considered,” he said. “And I think that it’s probably the best version of Scarlett that I’ve ever seen.”
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