The 2014 documentary Next Goal Wins won hearts with its underdog story of a hapless American Samoa soccer team and its down ‘n out Dutch coach, Thomas Rongen, hired to make them respectable. Well, he did quite a bit more than that, and now that true story is being retold by none other than Taika Waititi. And as you probably guessed, it’s going to be quite a bit funnier in his retelling of it.
Starring Michael Fassbender as Thomas Rongen, the long-awaited film centers on the coach’s attempt to turn around the American Samoa football squad, which had just been handed the most embarrassing defeat in FIFA history.
It’s like Cool Runnings on grass rather than ice. People love a good crowd-pleasing underdog sports story, and Waititi may have a real winner here.
The film also stars Oscar Kightley, David Fane, Beulah Koale, Lehi Falepapalangi, Semu Filipo, Uli Latukefu, Rachel House, Kaimana, Will Arnett, and Elisabeth Moss.
Here’s the synopsis: NEXT GOAL WINS follows the infamously terrible American Samoa soccer team, known for a brutal 2001 FIFA match they lost 31-0. With the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers approaching, the team hires down-on-his-luck, maverick coach Thomas Rongen (Michael Fassbender), hoping he will turn the world’s worst soccer team around in this humorous and heartfelt underdog story.
Next Goal Wins hits theaters on November 17th.