Elisabeth Moss

While we’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of Taika Waititi‘s satirical comedy Jojo Rabbit later this month (read our review and watch the trailer), the filmmaker is already getting his next film together over at Fox Searchlight, and it’s completely different than any other movie he’s done before.

Next Goal Wins is a sports dramedy inspired by the 2014 British documentary of the same name, focusing on the perpetually losing national football team of American Samoa and their coach as the team tries to qualify for the FIFA World Cup. Michael Fassbender is already on board to play the team’s coach, and now Elisabeth Moss is in talks to join the cast too.

The Hollywood Reporter has news of Moss joining the Next Goal Wins cast, though there’s no indication as to who the Mad Men and The Handmaid’s Tale actress is playing. However, based on the usual formula for these kind of sports movies, it wouldn’t be surprising if she ended up playing Gail Megaloudis, the wife of coach Thomas Rongen.

Rongen and his wife have a bit of a tragic story to tell that unfolded before the primary sports narrative. (Spoilers for real life events ahead.) One of Gail’s children from a previous relationship, her daughter Nicole, was killed in a car accident in 2004. As a tribute to his late step-daughter, Rongen wore her baseball cap when American Samoa beat Tonga, which was shown in the aforementioned documentary. So hopefully Moss’s role in all this will be more than just the wife on the sidelines that we’ve seen so often before.

With an underdog team and some family tragedy, this sounds like a traditional inspirational sports movie, but since there aren’t too many soccer movies out there, hopefully that will help it stand out. If anyone can make a familiar genre feel refreshing again, it’s a filmmaker like Taika Waititi, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Iain Morris (The Inbetweeners) and is producing with Garrett Basch and Jonathan Cavendish.

As of now, we don’t know when Next Goal Wins might be hitting theaters. Considering this story is probably much more well known and anticipated overseas where soccer (or football) is a much bigger deal, it could easily see a release in the United States later than everywhere else in the world. But that’s just speculation on our part. Either way, we’re very much interested in seeing what Waititi can do with a sports story such as this, and hopefully he brings some of his signature comedy to the table with it.

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