Rather than take some time off, Taika Waititi is already at work on his next film. Production has begun on Waititi’s Next Goal Wins, a sports dramadey starring Michael Fassbender and Elisabeth Moss. In addition to Fassbender and moss, the Next Goal Wins cast has added non-binary actor Kaimana as Jaiyah Saelua, the first non-binary soccer player to compete in the Men’s World Cup.
Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit just came out, but don’t expect the in-demand filmmaker to take some time off. He’s already shooting his next feature, Next Goal Wins. The film is a feature adaptation of a 2014 documentary of the same name, and comes from Jojo Rabbit studio Fox Searchlight. Waititi wrote the script with Iain Morris, and the film will star Michael Fassbender and Elisabeth Moss.
Variety also adds that Waititi has cast non-binary actor Kaimana as real-life soccer player Jaiyah Saelua. Saelua is the first non-binary player to compete in a men’s FIFA World Cup qualifier, and identifies as fa’afafine, a third gender present in Polynesian society. Kaimana also identifies as fa’afafine, and Waititi says this casting was important to get right for the film. “It was vital,” the director told Variety. “There was no way we would have approached it in any other way.”
Next Goal Wins “tells the story of the American Samoa soccer team, who suffered the worst loss in World Cup history, losing to Australia 31-0 in 2001. With the 2014 World Cup approaching, the team recruits a down on his luck, maverick coach (Fassbender) to help turn their fate around.” The cast also includes Oscar Kightley, David Fane, Beulah Koale, Lehi Falepapalangi, Semu Filipo, Uli Latukefu, and Rachel House.
“Taika is an incredible talent and master at bringing honesty and humanity to the surface in any story. 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,” said David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield, who are overseeing production.
Waititi added: “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.”
You can watch the trailer for the original documentary below.
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