Taika Waititi is trying his hand at the sports genre, adding his own comedic twist to a memorable underdog tale you may have heard of before.
Fresh off another successful season of Our Flag Means Death, the filmmaker and producer has another release slated to hit theaters later this fall. Next Goal Wins may be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before from Waititi, whose recent work spans from Thor: Love and Thunder to Jojo Rabbit.
He’ll be taking a stab at a new genre with Next Goal Wins, which he directed and co-wrote with Iain Morris. It features a star-studded cast, including Michael Fassbender who plays Dutch soccer coach Thomas Rongen.
But is it based on a true story? Here’s everything we know — read on to learn more.
Is Next Goal Wins a true story?
Next Goal Wins is based on the true story of the “infamously terrible” American Samoa national soccer team, who suffered a historic defeat at the 2001 FIFA World Cup, where they lost 31-0. In Waititi’s film, Coach Rongen is recruited to whip this team into shape with the hopes of helping them possibly score a single goal … for once.
Fassbender is set to star as Rongen, joined by Elisabeth Moss and Will Arnett. Nonbinary actor Kaimana will also play the team’s star player, Jaiyah Saelua, who is the first nonbinary player to compete in the men’s FIFA qualifier, per The Hollywood Reporter.
If that tale sounds familiar, it might be because Waititi’s upcoming comedy is based off the 2014 documentary of the same name from filmmakers Mike Brett and Steve Jamison. The moving documentary won the British Independent Film Award for Best Feature Documentary after it premiered.
Waititi reflected on the movie’s true origins at the world premiere in September, where he told the audience, “I saw the documentary a few years ago, and I thought it was a story I had to tell and twist it… Otherwise, you might as well watch the documentary,” per the BBC.
When does Next Goal Wins come out?
Next Goal Wins premieres in theaters on Nov. 17. It recently made its world premiere at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival. There is not yet a streaming release date for the film, but it will likely premiere on streaming platforms in early 2024. Because the film is being distributed by Walt Disney Studios’ Searchlight Pictures, we’re expecting a Disney+ release.
Is there a trailer for Next Goal Wins?
Yes, there is a trailer for this upcoming sports dramedy! The trailer highlights the team’s losing streak and Rongen’s semi-controversial approach to coaching in a tale that sometimes feels reminiscent of Ted Lasso.
Scroll up to check out the complete trailer for Next Goal Wins.