After the merger of Disney and 20th Century Fox, all of Fox’s film properties came under the power of Disney, including an upcoming Nazi Germany-set comedy-drama film named “Jo-jo Rabbit,’ which features Taika Waititi playing an imaginary version of Adolf Hitler. As many Disney fans know, this type of content isn’t generally associated with the company’s family-friendly brand and it seems to have some executives worried.
Before we dive in, it’s worth noting that when Disney purchased 20th Century Fox the company had planned to keep each entity separate and true to each studio’s original brand prior to the merger. However, according to a new report by Variety, it seems that even though the film is under the Fox brand, its Nazi subject matter still has some execs shaking in their boots.
Prior to the release of major films to general audiences, it’s quite common for a studio to do pre-screenings to test audiences to get a sense for the film and what fans like and don’t like about its story. In a report by Variety, it was found that Searchlight has begun this process for “Jo-jo Rabbit” and only halfway through one viewing of the film an executive grew “audibly uncomfortable, worrying aloud that the film would alienate Disney fans.”
Part of the reason Disney executives could be so uncomfortable by the film is that fact that it was developed and produced at Fox Searchlight, prior to the Disney merger. It can be said that the movie is being billed as an “anti-hate satire.” However, this may not be enough for some big-wigs at Disney.
The film is still set for a nationwide release this Fall on October 18.
What are your thoughts on these Disney executives fear over “Jo-jo Rabbit”? Let us know in the comments below!