Taika Waititi’s next film will be an inspirational football epic

Next Goal Wins tells the true story of the American Samoa team's unlikely victory.


Charles Bramesco


Everyone in Hollywood wants a piece of Taika Waititi. The Marvel-industrial complex landed a new golden boy by tapping the New Zealander for the third Thor film, and they’ll soon bring him back for the fourth installment of the franchise, subtitled Love and Thunder.

Seemingly operating under the “one for them, one for me” principle, Waititi’s also maintained a presence in the indie-cinema sphere by partnering with Fox Searchlight. They’ll soon bring his anti-Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit to theaters, and late last night, Variety broke the news that they’ll represent his next film as well.

That project would be Next Goal Wins, a dramatization of a documentary about Dutch football coach Thomas Rongen, who whipped 2011’s American Samoa team into shape — zeroes to heroes, uplifting training montages, you get the general idea. Rongen guided them to their first-ever victory against Tonga’s team, and helped to bridge their cultural boundaries through the unifying power of the game, whether known as football or soccer.

The articles specifies that Waititi (who first got ahold of the script after he was given a copy by Andy Serkis) will dig in on Next Goal Wins before starting work on Thor: Love and Thunder, and that shooting will get going this fall. That leaves the question of casting, however; whether Waititi will sit this one out or save himself a role has yet to be revealed.

Waititi commands an enviable spot in the industry right now, with the cachet and distinction to get original-concept films made with healthy budgets and noteworthy talent. That he continues to use his powers for good, alternating the studio tentpoles with more off-the-beaten-path material, is a tonic in these times of conglomeration and homogeneity.

Published 8 Aug 2019

Tags: Taika Waititi

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