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Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit gets insane new trailer

And now for something completely different.

Jojo Rabbit, the upcoming period dramedy from Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, dropped its first trailer today — and it's just as hilarious, heartfelt, and flat-out bizarre as one would expect.

Waititi himself broke the news by way of a very, very official announcement on his Twitter account. "Don't watch that, watch THIS!" he wrote. "It's official, we officially have an "Official Trailer" for what is officially my new film, ! It officially comes out on October 18. And that's the official news."

The charmingly idiosyncratic writer, director, and actor brings us the tale set during the thick of World War II, in which young German boy Jojo "Rabbit" Betzler is just trying to make his way during the, er, "glory" years of the Third Reich. Like a lot of boys, Jojo has an imaginary friend; unlike (hopefully) the vast majority of them, Jojo's is a bumbling, painfully immature version of Adolf Hitler, who is (of course) portrayed by Waititi himself.

The spot opens with Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) being herded out of the house for the day's studies by his mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson). These studies, according to the drill instructor-like authority figure heading them up, include such staples as "war games" and "ambush techniques," activities for which not all of the students are cut out (we see one boy throwing an axe at a tree, only to have it rebound and strike him in a rather sensitive area).

Jojo himself looks utterly lost, and we next see him lamenting to an unidentified party, "I don't think I can do this." It turns out that he's speaking to his good imaginary buddy Adolf, and Waititi pops into the frame — tiny, square mustache and all — to reassure him, "Of course you can!"

There's a brief montage of a sprinting, cavorting Hitler assisting Jojo with the next day's lessons, and as the youth's activities progress to book-burning, we see that Jojo is beginning to have his doubts about the national ideology. "You're growing up too fast," his mother scolds him in voiceover. "Ten-year olds shouldn't be celebrating war and talking politics." (A distinct counterpoint to her words is provided by dueling narration from a Nazi higher-up, who exclaims, "I wish more of our young boys had your blind fanaticism.")

Mom isn't exactly espousing views that toe the party line, and indeed, after a brief scene of Jojo discussing Jews with one of his buddies ("Did you know Jews can read each others' minds?" the boy asks), Jojo's entire world is shaken when he makes a discovery in his attic: a young girl (Thomasin McKenzie) who has been secreted away there by his mother. "You know what I am," the girls tells him. "Say it." Jojo stammers in response, "A Jew?" to which the girl replies, "Gesundheit."

Of course, this stunning new development prompts Jojo to confer with his imaginary friend, and the two have slightly different ideas about how to manage the situation. Attempting to hammer out a solution, Jojo comes up with "Negotiate," while Hitler goes with "Burn down the house and blame Winston Churchill... or negotiate."

The montage that follows offers chilling, yet humorously skewed, scenes of warfare, and highlight Jojo's relationship with his doting mother, who tells him that "love is the strongest thing in the world." The little girl is seen explaining to Jojo that "your mother took me in... she's kind. She treats me like a person."

Jojo seems to start coming around, telling Hitler that the attic's resident "doesn't seem like a bad person," to which the imaginary dictator has a predictable and childish response. But the girl seems to be getting through: "You're not a Nazi, Jojo," she tells the boy. "You're a ten-year old kid, who likes dressing up in a funny uniform and wants to be part of a club."

The two are seen apparently becoming good friends, and after the spot's title card, one last punchline: one of Jojo's (real) buddies calls out to him on the street, right before accidentally launching a rocket which destroys a building across the way. "Nothing makes sense anymore," Jojo's voiceover says, as we see him apparently dining on a unicorn's head with Hitler. "I know," Jojo's young friend replies. "It's definitely not a good time to be a Nazi."

Jojo Rabbit certainly looks like the kind of singularly bizarre piece that could only have come from the mind of Waititi, but that's only half correct: his screenplay was adapted from the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens, which was published just last month. As per usual, Waititi has rounded up a stellar cast; in addition to those previously mentioned, it includes Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2, F is for Family), Rebel Wilson (The Hustle), Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), and Stephen Merchant (Logan).

The flick promises to be the weirdest of late 2019, and since we have director Todd Phillips' and star Joaquin Phoenix's Joker and a feature adaptation of the insane Broadway musical Cats coming our way before year's end, that's really saying something. Fans of Waititi would expect no less, and since we here at Looper are firmly in that camp, we'll be first in line when Jojo Rabbit hits the big screen on October 18.