Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins begins production
As he’s wrapped up the press tour for his highly-anticipated satire Jojo Rabbit, Fox Searchlight Pictures has announced that Taika Waititi has begun production on his upcoming sports biopic dramedy Next Goal Wins starring Michael Fassbender (Alien: Covenant).
The film, which features a script co-written by Waititi and Iain Morris (What We Do in the Shadows) and based on the 2014 British documentary of the same name, is an underdog sports tale following the national football team of American Samoa their coach, Thomas Rongen, as they try to change the team from a losing squad to a FIFA World Cup-qualifying unit.
In addition to Fassbender, Elisabeth Moss (The Invisible Man), who entered talks to star in the project last month, has been confirmed to be a part of the cast. The two are set to star alongside Oscar Kightley (The Breaker Upperers), David Fane (The Barefoot Bandits), Belulah Koale (Hawaii Five-0), Lehi Falepapalangi (Future Man), Semu Filipo (Harry), Uli Latukefu (Marco Polo) and Rachel House (Thor: Ragnarok).
“I’ve just started production on my next film, Next Goal Wins,” Waititi said in a statement. “We have such an amazing cast and crew behind this film, and I’m stoked to be partnering once again with the lovely people at Fox Searchlight Pictures.”
“Taika is an incredible talent and master at bringing honesty and humanity to the surface in any story,” Presidents of Production for Film and Television David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield said. “We are thrilled to be working with him again on such an extraordinary true story of perseverance in the face of defeat. He has brought together a terrific group of actors, craftspeople and sports players to bring this unique story to life.”
It was announced back in August that Waititi would direct a secret project for Fox Searchlight prior to stepping behind the director’s chair for Thor: Love and Thunder.
In addition to Next Goal Wins, Waititi has been promoting his Anti-Nazi satirical comedy Jojo Rabbit, in which he stars as an imaginary friend version of Adolf Hitler to a lonely young Hitler youth who discovers his mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic. The film, which has earned polarized but generally positive reviews from critics after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival and Fantastic Fest, hit the screen to very positive reviews from critics and audiences alike.
(Photo Credit: Backgrid Images)