Experience RENAISSANCE: A FILM BY BEYONCÉ on the big screen this weekend! Get Tickets

Taika Waititi’s Football Comedy Drama

November 8th, 2023Taika Waititi’s Football Comedy Drama

Get Tickets NEXT GOAL WINS open November 17

In more recent years, the name “Taika Waititi” has become more widely associated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe – specifically the big budget adventures he has directed and starred in alongside the God of Thunder, 2017’s THOR: RAGNAROK and THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER from 2022. However, the filmmaker is returning to his indie dramedy roots, and also making his sports movie debut, with his latest release – NEXT GOAL WINS.

Even though this 2023 hidden gem – which opens in AMC Theatres on Friday November 17 – is smaller in scale than some of the filmmaker’s previous outings – from both behind and in front of the camera, too – it is as much of a funny and exciting crowd-pleaser as any Marvel movie and will leave you cheering and feeling deeply and emotionally inspired like no blockbuster comic book adaptation could. See for yourself why – and learn about all the other essential details you should know about NEXT GOAL WINS – by checking out this guide below.

A True Underdog Sports Story

NEXT GOAL WINS is a dramatized retelling of a story which was previously the subject of Mike Brett and Steve Jamison’s award-winning 2014 documentary of the same name. In 2001, the American Samoa soccer team suffered the worst defeat in the sport’s history on record, losing to Australia with 31 to 0 and becoming a laughing stock in the sports world as a result.

After spending more than a decade at the very bottom of FIFA’s World rankings, the South Pacific Islanders received a chance to turn things around in the form of their new coach, Thomas Rongen. With his years of experience and tough mentorship methods, the Dutch-American gives these athletes the inspiration they need to become an inspiration to their homeland as they work to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Michael Fassbender Leads

Thomas Rongen is the latest real-life person to be portrayed by Academy Award® nominee Michael Fassbender, who previously played Bobby Sands in HUNGER, Carl Jung in A DANGEROUS METHOD, and the title role of 2015’s STEVE JOBS, among others. He is joined on the NEXT GOAL WINS cast by Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss as his estranged wife, Gail, Will Arnett as Rongen’s boss, Alex Magnussen, and Waititi’s frequent collaborator, Rhys Darby, as colleague Rhys Marlin.

Oscar Kightley – who last worked with Waititi on HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE – stars as FFAS president, Tavita, who hires Rongen to replace David Fane’s character, Ace, as the American Samoa team’s coach. Notable team players include Tavita’s son, Daru (THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE star Beulah Koale), Jaiyah Saelua (a history-making transgender athlete played Kaimana in her acting debut), and famed goalkeeper Nicky Salapu (Uli Latukefu, who is best known for playing Dwayne Johnson’s younger self on “Young Rock”).

Taika Waititi Directs

In addition to directing the film, and co-writing it alongside Iain Morris, Taika Waititi also makes a few brief appearances in NEXT GOAL WINS as a priest. Coincidentally, he also played a priest in HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE from 2016.

It is actually tradition for the New Zealand-born multi-hyphenate to appear in the films he directs, taking roles of varying sizes – such as when he played one of the four main vampires in the 2014 mockumentary WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS or his smaller part as an imaginary Adolf Hitler in JOJO RABBIT, for which he won an OscarⓇ for Best Adapted Screenplay. Waititi made his feature-length directorial debut in 2007 with EAGLE VS SHARK, followed by 2010’s BOY, and later went on to helm and produce many small screen projects like FX’s “Reservation Dogs” and Max’s “Our Flag Means Death.”

Watch The Trailer

NEXT GOAL WINS tells a story that may feel somewhat familiar to anyone who has ever seen a sports biopic, but boasts a unique sense of humor and winning charm that makes it feel fresh and inspiring. You can sense the evidence of its distinct tone just by watching the film’s official trailer. Check out the clip below to see for yourself:

The cheeky humor throughout the teaser – from opening with Rongen’s inspirational speech before learning he is fired to referencing Waititi’s previous award losses – is very reflective of the film itself, tonally. However, it does an even better job selling the film’s themes of redemption, family, and pride.

Special Gift With Ticket Purchase

In addition to the laughs, tears, and encouragement that it inspires, those are not all of the bonuses that can come with seeing NEXT GOAL WINS. In fact, some moviegoers can receive a special gift with the purchase of a ticket at AMC Theatres.

Those who come to see NEXT GOAL WINS on the Thursday night before its official release date – November 16 – will also receive a free squishy mini soccer ball toy with their purchase. Be sure to check the AMC Theatres website to see which locations near you are participating in this special offer.

You don’t even need to be a fan of football – or, as it’s referred to in America, soccer – to become swept up in the story of NEXT GOAL WINS. Let it inspire you when it comes to an AMC Theatres location near you!

Get Tickets NEXT GOAL WINS open November 17

Get Tickets to Titles in this Article