Taika Waititi works fast. The filmmaker/actor who crushed 2019 with Jojo Rabbit only recently started production on Next Goal Wins, a true sports story about the hard trodden American Samoa football team (which is to say, soccer team) starring Michael Fassbender as the team’s Dutch coach. But now, as shared at a Fox Searchlight holiday party, there’s already a first look available. And Fassbender is very blond and very passionate.
Beyond Fassbender, we also see our first glimpse of the Samoan team eager to turn their luck around, rebound from the worst loss in World Cup history, and qualify for the 2014 competition. Based in part on the documentary of the same title, released in 2014, Waititi’s take on the tale has a lot of momentum going for it — particularly if he keeps producing quality footage like this at the pace he’s going. I, for one, would love to see future looks centered less on Fassbender’s character and more on the team itself — particularly the member played by Kaimana, the fa’afafine or non-binary newcomer.
Check out the image below, courtesy of Kyle Buchanan, followed by Next Goal Wins‘ official synopsis.
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.