Searchlight has announced that the highly anticipated new film from Taika Waititi, Next Goal Wins, will be released on April 26th. In the spring of 2023, moviegoers will be able to see the touching sports comedy. The actual tale of how unconventional coach Thomas Rongen tried to turn average American Samoan national team soccer players into superstars is told in Next Goal Wins. Michael Fassbender plays the lead role of Rongen, while the remainder of the cast includes Oscar Kightley, David Fane, Kaimana, Lehi Falepapalangi, Semu Filipo, Uli Latukefu, Rachel House, Will Arnett, and Elisabeth Moss.
Next Goal Wins is Waititi’s directorial debut, adapted from a screenplay he and Iain Morris wrote.
Waititi, together with Garrett Basch and Jonathan Cavendish, produced the picture. Mike Brett and Steve Jamison, who also directed the 2014 documentary of the same name and will serve as producers for the film, will adapt their work for the big screen. In November 2019 they started filming in Honolulu, and by January 2020, they were finished. The shooting had to be redone after Armie Hammer was replaced with Will Arnett. Eagle vs. Shark and Boy were the first films Waititi directed, both of which went on to have successful careers.
Waititi shot to prominence after helming the mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, the success of which led to a successful TV series of the same name airing on FX. After directing the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Thor: Ragnarok, which many have called the finest Thor film ever, Waititi became a household name and an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Jojo Rabbit (which won an Oscar), and this year’s Thor: Love and Thunder were all directed by Waititi.
The Oscar-winning director has been linked to many high-profile projects, including the Tower of Terror film based on a theme park ride, the space opera The Incal, a live-action movie version of Akira, the pilot for Amazon’s Time Bandits revival series, and an unnamed Star Wars feature. Movie theatres will open their doors on April 21, 2023, to see Next Goal Wins.
“In NEXT GOAL WINS, directed by Jojo Rabbit and Thor: Ragnarok helmer Taika Waititi, we meet the American Samoa soccer squad, who became infamous after suffering a 31-0 defeat at the 2001 FIFA World Cup. In this touching underdog comedy, the world’s poorest soccer team employs a down-on-his-luck maverick coach (Michael Fassbender) in the hopes that he might help them qualify for the World Cup.”