Entertainment

Scarlett Johansson is in final talks to star in Taika Waititi's new film JoJo Rabbit

It's a major coup for the multi-talented Kiwi who, along with writing the script himself, will direct, produce and star in the film as well.

By Emma Land

Reports out of Hollywood suggest that Scarlett Johansson is set to play the lead role in Taika Waititi's new film JoJo Rabbit.

Variety magazine reports that the actress is in final negotiations to play the mother of the central character.

JoJo Rabbit is Waititi's follow-up to to his box-office smash Thor: Ragnarok. He penned the script for the World War II satire back in 2012 but it has only recently been given the green light due to financing hold-ups.

Fox Searchlight took on the project last year and filming is set to begin in Europe in May.

The script for JoJo Rabbit.
The script for JoJo Rabbit.

The movie is set in World War II Germany and is centred around the character of a 10-year-old boy who is trying to fit in with the help of an imaginary friend.

After being injured by a grenade at a Hitler youth camp, the boy discovers that his mother is hiding a fifteen year old Jewish girl in their house.

Johansson will play the boy's mother and Waititi will play Hitler, albeit an imaginary version of him.

Waititi is known for making cameos in his own films. Among others, he played Alamein in his celebrated coming of age film Boy and more recently made a "scene stealing" performance as rock giant Korg in Thor.

Taika will be producing the film alongside his wife Chelsea Winstanley, who also worked as a producer on his vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows.

Taika and wife Chelsea at the *Thor: Ragnarok* premiere in Hollywood.
Taika and wife Chelsea at the Thor: Ragnarok premiere in Hollywood.

On playing Hitler, Waititi told The Wrap "It's my version of a lonely boy's best version of his hero, which is really his dad."

"This is not the Adolf we know and hate," the character description states. "This guy is goofy, charming, and glides through life with a child-like naivety."

Johansson spent time in New Zealand in 2016 while filming the sci-fi action movie Ghost in the Shell. She is currently starring in the Wes Anderson stop-motion animated film Isle of Dogs and will next be appearing in back-to-back Avengers movies.