For better or for worse, it is hard to argue against the cultural impact of football (or soccer) globally. Currently, the FIFA World Cup in Qatar is making headlines both on and off the pitch, with many calling foul play on what seems to be the most controversial World Cup of all time. This, although damning, makes it prime material for potential filmmakers, with soccer and particularly the World Cup on everyone’s minds. Soccer and film have a long history, with some of the most feel-good stories being set on a soccer pitch, such as Gurinder Chadha‘s Bend it Like Beckham, and great sporting triumphs and disasters being tackled by hugely successful documentaries like Netflix’s current title FIFA Uncovered. One documentary in particular that caught the attention of many fans was Steve Jamieson and Mike Brett‘s Next Goal Wins. Having a coveted 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the documentary was a hit both commercially and critically, released at the same time as the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Now, as we enter the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the name Next Goal Wins is back, only this time as a comedy-drama film set to release next year.


With that in mind and with football fever at its highest right now, here is exactly everything we know about Next Goal Wins.

Editor’s Note: This article was last updated on December 27 to include the latest release date.

Image via Icon Film Distribution

Related:First ‘Next Goal Wins’ Images Reveal Michael Fassbender as a Soccer Coach

When Is Next Goal Wins Being Released?

With principal photography for Next Goal Wins ending all the way back in January 2020, the question on all potential fans’ lips is “When will it hit our screens?”. It took some time for us to finally get a launch date but that finally happened with the announcement that Next Goal Wins would release globally on April 23, 2023. However, that plan has changed and the movie will now release on September 22, 2023, and appears to be exclusive to theaters. It might be too early to pre-book those premiere night tickets, but one imagines they will sell out fast once released so stay alert.

Is There A Trailer For Next Goal Wins?

Every great movie will have a tantalizing trailer, but, at least for now, that is something we cannot apply to Next Goal Wins. Despite this, there is some time before the April 23 release date, so fans can expect Searchlight Pictures to drop some sort of trailer by then. There have been a few promotional images released of writer and director Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit) on set, as well as a few stills from the movie, giving potential theater-goers a small glimpse into the world of the film and creating at least a small buzz as the release date edges ever closer.

Next goals wins Michael fassbender

What Is Next Goal Wins About?

As a work dedicated to the original documentary of the same name, it is fair to assume that the narrative content will also be the same. The British documentary follows the American Samoa soccer team as they have to deal with the world’s perception of them as one of the worst soccer teams ever, all whilst trying to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Of course, there are many glaring differences when comparing documentaries to fiction films, but, if followed with enough care and attention, the source material can be more than paid homage to. The official plot synopsis also suggests just how much the team behind Next Goal Wins wants to stay true to the original, reading:

Directed by Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: Ragnarok), NEXT GOAL WINS follows the infamously terrible American Samoa soccer team, known for a brutal 2001 FIFA match they lost 31-0.

Fans of sports films can read this synopsis and get excited, as can fans of the original documentary and comedy fans, with the great Taika Waititi at the helm of production.

Related:Here’s the First Look at Michael Fassbender in Taika Waititi’s ‘Next Goal Wins’

Who Is Making Next Goal Wins?

Taika Waititi pictured alongside his characters Blackbeard and Korg

For many films, the crew behind its inception and subsequent production can go unnoticed. For Next Goal Wins, however, this is impossible. As mentioned previously, Taika Waititi is the director and co-writer of the film alongside Iain Morris (The Inbetweeners). Waititi’s name has been at the forefront of popular cinema culture recently as he took control of one of the latest installments in the ever-expanding, omnipresent Marvel Cinematic Universe. His turn as writer and director of Thor: Love and Thunder was met with mixed reception, as his attempt to apply his own brand of self-aware genre-bending left much to be desired for some fans who love the very particular way the MCU writes its narratives.

Filming for Next Goal Wins took place some time ago and was shot in Honolulu, suggesting that cinematographer Lachlan Milne (Stranger Things) will have had ample time to make each frame a delight visually. Michael Giacchino, known for his composing work on Ratatouille and, perhaps more famously, Up, is behind the score for the film, assuring that this movie won’t just be a visual treat, but a delight to listen to as well.

Who’s In the Next Goal Wins Cast?

As mentioned previously, the crew behind Next Goal Wins is certainly a stellar one, however, a great crew without a great cast can often lead to a flop. Luckily, the casting team on Next Goal Wins has worked tirelessly to put together an ensemble group that is sure to create fireworks on screen. First, and most notably, we have the iconic Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class) who is playing the part of wildcard coach Thomas Rongen. For any avid soccer fans or fans of the original documentary, Rongen was known for his unorthodox style that made the documentary brilliantly entertaining. Fassbender seems a strange choice for the role, but one that has definitely excited fans.

Joining Fassbender are Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale), Will Arnett (Arrested Development), Rhys Darby (What We Do in the Shadows), Uli Latukefu (Black Adam), and Angus Sampson (Fargo). Of course, this is only a small sample of the fantastic cast list curated for this film. The sheer size of the talent on show, combined with Waititi’s hilarious brand of comedy and an underdog story that is sure to touch the hearts of all who watch it, combine to make Next Goal Wins one of the most unmissable additions to cinemas next year.

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