Michael Fassbender has had a tough run of late, but he’s looking to turn things around and I like his latest move, as he is in final talks to star in Taika Waititi‘s soccer movie Next Goal Wins, Collider has confirmed.
Fox Searchlight’s sports dramedy is based on the 2014 British documentary of the same name from Mike Brett and Steve Jamison. The underdog story follows the national football team of American Samoa and their coach as they try to transform from perennial losers into a squad that qualifies for the FIFA World Cup.
Waititi, who is from New Zealand, co-wrote the screenplay with Iain Morris, and Andy Serkis is producing the film with Garrett Basch and Jonathan Cavendish, as well as Brett and Jamison. In fact, it was Serkis’ Imaginarium Productions that originally optioned the remake rights to the documentary — a savvy business move, if you ask me.
Waititi will direct Next Goal Wins before he returns to the MCU to direct Thor: Love and Thunder, which will star Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman, the latter of whom will become Thor in the sequel. Fox Searchlight will release Waititi’s next film, the Nazi Germany satire Jojo Rabbit, on Oct. 18.
Fassbender is coming off a brutal stretch that saw him star in The Snowman, Assassin’s Creed and The Light Between Oceans along with a pair of critically reviled X-Men movies and the little-seen Terrence Malick film Song to Song. Fassbender is an incredible actor when he has good material to work with, as evidenced by his performances in Steve Jobs and Shame, so hopefully Waititi’s feel-good story offers him some new notes to play, because he needs to recapture his mojo — and fast. Fassbender, who is also starring in Kung Fury 2 for some reason, is represented by CAA and Troika, and the Hollywood Reporter broke the news of his casting in Next Goal Wins.