Scarlett Johansson To Portray German Mom Who Hides A Jewish Girl From Nazis

(JTA) — Scarlett Johansson is on board to star in a film in which she would portray a German mother hiding a Jewish girl in her home from the Nazis.

“Jojo Rabbit” centers on a young German boy who finds out about his mother’s heroism, Variety reported on the Fox Searchlight film. According to IMDB, Taika Waititi ("Thor: Ragnarok") is writing and directing. A native of New Zealand, Waititi's mother is of Russian-Jewish heritage. Her maiden name is "Cohen" and the director/comedian/actor has used it for some of his projects. 

The character of the son still needs to be cast. Production is expected to start this spring, Variety reported.

In Europe, the issue of rescue of Jews by non-Jews during the Holocaust is controversial. In Eastern Europe especially, government-led projects meant to highlight the actions of relatively few local rescuers has been criticized as designed to prevent an open discussion about the actions of countless thousands who collaborated with the German Nazis in the wholesale murder of Jews.

Johansson of late has been focused on action and comedy movies, including last year’s “Ghost in the Shell” and the comedy “Rough Night.” Her mother, Melanie Sloan, is of Jewish-Polish/Belarusian descent. In the past, Johansson has become the spokesperson for companies like the Israel-based SodaStream. She came to the company's defense, even after her Super Bowl ad sparked controversy over the fact that SodaStream has facilities in the West Bank. 


Additional reporting by Blueprint Editor Josh Weiss

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