EXCLUSIVE: Talk about a risky project. After overachieving on the creatively satisfying blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi has set Rebel Wilson to the cast of his new film, Jojo Rabbit, the Fox Searchlight WWII satire he wrote about a 10-year old boy who struggles to find his place in an increasingly Fascist regime and turns to an imaginary friend when faced with the discovery that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home. Wilson joins Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell in a film that gets underway shortly in Prague.
Wilson will play Fraulein Rahm, a brutish instructor in the Hitler Youth Camp the young man has just been recruited to attend. Sources said that among the lessons she teaches the children is that Jews are the embodiment of mythical creatures. Waititi himself plays the imaginary friend, who is said to be Hitler himself. Rockwell plays a Nazi officer who runs the Hitler Youth camp and Johansson plays the boy’s mom, the one hiding the young girl from the Nazis. In the youth’s evolution, he progressively begins to see the young girl as human instead of the cruel propaganda being dished out at the youth camp.
Waititi separately directed the stop motion animated film Bubbles for Netflix, about Michael Jackson’s pet chimp. But if he pulls off Jojo Rabbit, it will put him in rarefied territory of risk-taking auteurs.
Wilson has been just as fearless in building a career that has now branched into producing. Wilson, who just graced the cover of Vogue Australia back home for the first time, is exec producer of Isn’t It Romantic, the romantic comedy she stars in for New Line with Liam Hemsworth, Priyanka Chopra and Adam Devine, which gets released next Valentine’s Day weekend. Wilson gets her first producing credit on The Hustle, the comedy inspired by Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. She stars with Anne Hathaway for MGM. Wilson is producing with Roger Birnbaum, through her Camp Sugar label.
Wilson is repped by WME and attorney Warren Dern.