Taika Waititi’s sports comedy “Next Goal Wins” will have its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Taika back to the Festival and share his audacious take on the most popular sport in the world,” said Cameron Bailey, CEO of TIFF. “’Next Goal Wins’ is perfect for TIFF fans of the beautiful game looking for their football fix until the 2024 World Cup arrives.”
Waititi, who most recently directed Marvel’s “Thor: Love and Thunder,” was last at the festival in 2019 with “Jojo Rabbit.” The offbeat comedy, about a 10-year-old Hitler Youth member whose imaginary friend is the Führer himself, won the TIFF People’s Choice Award and an Academy Award for adapted screenplay. Waititi is also known for “Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” “Our Flag Means Death” and “What We Do in the Shadows.”
“Next Goal Wins” stars Michael Fassbender as a down-on-his-luck coach who is hired to turn around the world’s worst soccer team so they can qualify for the World Cup. Searchlight Pictures is backing the film, which is based on the 2014 documentary about the American Samoa soccer team, who were infamous for their brutal 31-0 FIFA loss in 2001. Oscar Kightley, Kaimana, David Fane, Rachel House, Beulah Koale, Uli Latukefu, Semu Filipo, Lehi Falepapalangi, Will Arnett and Elisabeth Moss round out the cast.
Following its debut in Toronto, “Next Goal Wins” is scheduled to be released in theaters on Nov. 17.
The 48th edition of TIFF runs from Sept. 7-17. The full festival schedule will be released in August.
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