Disney Is Worried About Taika Waititi's JOJO RABBIT Being Too Edgy For Their Brand
Disney has given Twentieth Century Fox their first review since acquiring the studio, and it didn’t go as well as either would have hoped. Since the merger, Fox has released four films, beginning with the faith-based film Breakthrough, which was the only one that turned a profit. X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Stuber, and The Art of Racing in the Rain were all sadly considered flops. Disney’s Chief Executive Bob Iger did not mince words during the company’s quarterly earnings call. Here’s what he had to say:
“The Fox studio performance … was well below where it had been and well below where we hoped it would be when we made the acquisition.”
Yikes! That had to have been rough to hear. But Disney execs have to take into account that some of the problem has to be chalked up to timing. Anything would have looked like small potatoes up against Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, and The Lion King. And there are definitely some fantastic acquisitions they now have in their back pocket. Disney is excited that Marvel will be able to get their hands on Fantastic Four and X-Men, to see these stories and characters be given some justice.
They are however a little nervous about some of the projects fitting the Disney brand. They are hoping to give Deadpool fans what they want while not venturing into too dark of territory. And speaking of dark territory, they are also nervous about the upcoming Jojo Rabbit, Fox Searchlight’s film about a young boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) in Hitler’s army in Nazi Germany who becomes confused when he discovers his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic.
In the film, he must confront his views, and his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, to figure out his path. I’m really excited about this movie, and I think fans are going to show up for it. It’s being made by Taika Waititi, who is also playing Hitler, and I believe it’s going to do well, having nothing to do with Disney. But, the studio doesn’t feel that it fits their brand. Variety says:
The scathing takedown of Nazism may, however, prove a little too edgy for Disney brass accustomed to producing movies suitable for parents and kids. Searchlight has started to screen the film for its new parent company. Halfway through one recent viewing one executive grew audibly uncomfortable, worrying aloud that the material would alienate Disney fans. His unease may have been over the film’s cutting-edge satire, but it was also an expression of the culture clash taking place as the two studios embark on their new union.
I think it’s just going to take some time to get used to the merge, and though it may not have happened at a perfect time, the benefits outweigh the problems, and there are lots of exciting prospects to come.
What do you think? What is exciting to you about the Disney/Fox combination?