People have a history of backing the underdog, and although this concept has played a prominent role in so many films and television series, from such classics as Rocky, Escape to Victory and Cool Runnings through to more recent standout successes such as the Creed franchise, The Way Back and “Ted Lasso,” these timeworn clichés never cease to amaze as and will forever appeal to audiences.
And, based on the first official trailer Searchlight Pictures has just debuted, another underdog story that looks set to prove this preamble is Academy Award-Winner Taika Waititi‘s (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: Ragnarok) biographical sports comedy-drama, Next Goal Wins, based on the 2014 documentary of the same name by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison.
Directed by Waititi, from a script he co-wrote with Iain Morris (“Flight of the Conchords,” “The Inbetweeners”), Next Goal Wins recounts the story of the American Samoa soccer team infamous for their brutal 31-0 World Cup loss against Australia in 2001; the worst loss in international football history. As the 2014 World Cup closes in, the team decides to bring in a down-on-his-luck, maverick coach (Michael Fassbender – The X-Men franchise, Kung Fury: The Movie) in the hopes that he can help turn their luck around.
The ensemble cast is rounded out with Elisabeth Moss (The Invisible Man, “The Handmaid’s Tale”), Oscar Kightley (Moana, “Harry”), David Fane (“The Strip,” “Paper Champions”), Beulah Koale (“Hawaii Five-O”), Lehi Falepapalangi (The Islands, “Future Man”), Semu Filipo (“Young Rock,” “Kura”), Uli Latukefu (“Young Rock,” Black Adam), Rachel House (Thor: Ragnarok, Eagle vs Shark) and Kaimana.
Waititi is producing alongside Jonathan Cavendish and Garrett Basch, with Andy Serkis, Will Tennant, and Kathryn Dean serving as executive producers. Additional producers include Mike Brett and Steve Jamison, who directed the 2014 eponymous documentary.
The film is set to be released on November 17, 2023.