First look at Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins starring Michael Fassbender

Considering it was shot way back in 2019 (with subsequent reshoots to remove Armie Hammer post-controversy), you’d think that Searchlight Pictures would have taken the opportunity to coincide the release of Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins with the World Cup, but as it happens we’re going to have to wait another few more months for the filmmaker’s adaptation of the 2014 football documentary.

Still, with the group stages now underway, we do have some first-look images from the film, which is based on the true story of the American-Samoa national team’s efforts to quality for the World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in world football under coach Thomas Rongen, played by Michael Fassbender. Check them out here courtesy of EW…

Speaking to the outlet about what drew him to the project, Waititi states that: “Rugby is the national sport in New Zealand, but it’s about underdogs, and I just love underdog stories. Most of my films are about people who live on the margins, or are a little bit left out, and it just fit right in for me. It’s a true story, but it’s got all the elements that all the great sports films have. It’s basically the Cool Runnings of soccer.”

Next Goal Wins is set for release in April 2023 and sees Taika Waititi directing a cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Oscar Kightley, Elisabeth Moss, Will Arnett, Kamaina, David Fane, Beulah Koale, Lehi Falepapalangi, Semu Filipo, Uli Latukefu, and Rachel House.


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