Acclaimed director Taika Waititi‘s soccer-comedy Next Goal Wins‘ time on the bench is set to continue a little while longer. The film, which began production way back in 2019 has suffered another pushback for its long-awaited release. This time the goalposts have shifted from September 9 to November 17.
The film, based on real events, stars Michael Fassbender as a down-on-his-luck soccer coach, drafted in to lead the American Samoa soccer team, who’d previously suffered the worst loss in international soccer history, succumbing 31-0 to Australia. The events of Next Goal Wins will follow Fassbender‘s character as he attempts to galvanize the worst team in international soccer during the qualifiers for the 2014 world cup. The story was originally brought to life via Steve Jamieson and Mike Brett‘s Next Goal Wins documentary. Production on Waititi‘s feature film adaptation originally wrapped in January 2020, but reshoots were required when Armie Hammer was substituted in favour of comic actor Will Arnett. This paved the way for an initial April 21, 2023, theatrical release. However, this date was later shifted to this fall on September 9 and now again to November 17.
Directed and co-written by Waititi, Next Goal Wins sees the New Zealand filmmaker once again teaming up with Searchlight Pictures, a partnership that saw huge success thanks to the Oscar-winning 2019 film, Jojo Rabbit. Jojo Rabbit was the latest in a long line of quirky independent films showcasing Waititi‘s particular sense of humor and drama in equal measure, a trait he has transferred to blockbuster movie-making through the likes of Thor: Ragnarok, Thor: Love and Thunder and an as-yet-untitled Star Wars movie that he is currently working on. Given Waititi‘s impressive CV and reputation, the shifting release of Next Goal Wins will only have increased anticipation for this film, especially when you consider the fact that his co-writer is Iain Morris, best known for creating the smash-hit British comedy television series The Inbetweeners, meaning Next Goal Wins is sure to create laughs aplenty when it finally graces theaters in November.
Who Else Stars in ‘Next Goal Wins’?
Next Goal Wins stars Fassbender (in the role of football coach Thomas Rongen) and Arnett alongside actors Elisabeth Moss, Rhys Darby, Uli Latukefu and Angus Sampson. The film is now set to release on November 17, 2023.