Everything We Know About Taika Waititi’s Underdog Soccer Movie

“Next Goal Wins” is directed by Taika Waititi from a script he co-wrote with Iain Morris (“The Inbetweeners,” the “What We Do in the Shadows” TV show), with Waititi also among the film’s listed producers. Joining Michael Fassbender in the cast are Elisabeth Moss as Thomas Rongen’s ex-wife and Will Arnett as a fictional international football executive. Arnett, who’s fresh off sharing the screen with Waititi in the first season of David Jenkins’ acclaimed pirate comedy series “Our Flag Means Death,” is also playing the role that was initially filled by Armie Hammer prior to the sexual abuse allegations made against him in early 2021.

Lest anyone fear the cast of a film about the American Samoa team is mostly composed of white people, rest assured that’s not the case. Rather, the team’s players will be portrayed by actors like David Fane, Beulah Koale, Lehi Falepapalangi, Semu Filipo, Uli Latukefu, and Rachel House, with Samoan-New Zealand actor Oscar Kightley co-starring as the head of American Samoa soccer. Newcomer Kamaina will also star as real-life player Jaiyah Saelua, both of whom are members of the fa’afafine, a third gender that is commonly accepted in Samoa and American Samoa (via NME).

“Honestly, it’s just good to put brown faces on film and to have a Polynesian presence in cinema in a really significant way,” Waititi told EW. “Elisabeth and Will come in at the end, so basically it’s just brown faces and Michael Fassbender.”

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