Taika Waititi Had No Interest in an "Authentic Portrayal" of Hitler

Lorene Scafaria, Kasi Lemmons, Destin Cretton, Anthony McCarten and Charles Randolph joined for the annual Writer Roundtable.

"I don't really know how to make a straight drama," Taika Waititi told The Hollywood Reporter's Writer Roundtable. "I'm not sure I'm capable of that."

The writer-director of Jojo Rabbit said of his personal creative style, "I add in things that makes [the story] more interesting to myself, and sensibilities that are specific to how I tell stories, which is humor, fantastical elements, little passing moments, and just imaginary characters."

Jojo Rabbit follows a young boy in the Hitler youth and his imaginary friend, Hitler (played by Waititi). "That vision of Hitler that I wrote shares nothing with the real guy other than that mustache, really. He is conjured from the mind of a 10-year-old, so he can only know what a 10-year-old knows," Waititi told the Roundtable. "I had no real interest in writing an authentic portrayal, or even when I played him, I had no interest in actually putting in the effort or putting in the research, because I just didn't think he deserved it."

Waititi, who directed Thor: Ragnarok, commented on Martin Scorsese's recent criticism of Marvel films, saying, "I know how much work goes into breaking stories for those films, and how much work goes into shooting and the postproduction, and basically, it's all based on story for that studio."

"At the end of the day, whatever's in that rectangle, if it's affecting people emotionally, it doesn't matter if it's too colorful. Maybe it's just too colorful for him." Waititi has one career Oscar nominations for his short film, Two Cars, One Night.

The full Writer Roundtable is set to air Feb. 2 on SundanceTV. Scafaria appears on the roundtable panel along with Charles Randolph (Bombshell), Waititi (Jojo Rabbit), Kasi Lemmons (Harriet), Anthony McCarten (The Two Popes) and Destin Cretton (Just Mercy). Follow all the Oscar-season roundtables at THR.com/Roundtables.