Boy is a dreamer who loves Michael Jackson. He lives with his brother Rocky, a tribe of deserted cousins and his Nan. Boy’s other hero, his father Alamein, is the subject of Boy’s fantasies, and he imagines him as a deep sea diver, war hero and a close relation of Michael Jackson. In reality Alamein is an inept, wannabe gangster who has been in jail for robbery. When Alamein returns home after seven years away, Boy is forced to confront the man he thought he remembered, find his own potential and learn to get along without the hero he had been hoping for.
Director Taika Waititi started developing BOY soon after finishing his award-winning short Two Cars, One Night. It first emerged as a film called Choice and was accepted into the Sundance Writer's Lab in 2005, where Taika workshopped it with script writers Frank Pierson (Dog Day Afternoon), Susan Shilliday (Legends of the Fall), David Benioff (Troy) and Noami Foner (Running On Empty). Instead of making BOY his first film, Waititi went on to make Eagle vs Shark and continued to develop the screenplay over the next 3 years.
BOY was filmed in Waihau Bay in the Bay of Plenty, where Waititi grew up. The film is inspired by "true and imagined memories". Says Waititi, "Part of what makes this film distinct is the humour; I want to explore the painful comedy of growing up and interpreting the world. I believe that despite our faults and inadequacies, through all pain and heartache, there is still room to laugh. I think that’s what makes my films different, the feeling that although there is often darkness, there are also little bits of light to encourage hope and hold on to possibility."