(Credits: Far Out / Activités culturelles UdeM)
Although he’s sworn to secrecy regarding his forthcoming Star Wars movie, Taika Waititi has joked that it may well “piss people off.”
In a recent interview, the idiosyncratic filmmaker was asked whether the movie will adhere to the Star Wars aesthetic fans know and love. “It will be … dramatic pause… a Taika Waititi film,” he said sardonically.
“It’s gonna piss people off,” he added while speaking to Variety at his Next Goal Wins premiere. Waititi’s latest project is a football-themed movie that follows the true story of an American Samoa squad that famously lost an official FIFA match against Australia 31-0 in 2001.
The director took on the unlikely project following work on his 2022 Thor movie and Jojo Rabbit. Watiti revealed that he wanted to make a picture more closely related to his cultural heritage.
“The beauty of this movie is the Asian-Pacific Islanders,” Waititi said. “I needed to get back home. I’d just been around Europeans for too long, and I just needed to get back to the Pacific and tell a story about us. More than the sport aspect, it’s about the team that you create as family.”
Joining Waititi at the premiere were cast members Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Rhys Darby, Kaimana, Oscar Kightley, and American Samoa footballer Jaiyah Saelua. The latter made history as the first transgender person to participate in a men’s FIFA tournament in 2014.
“Taika’s ability to take the true essence of my team and of my culture and my people and relay that in his own unique way, make it his version – I think only he can do that in Hollywood because he’s a Pacific Islander and because it’s a Pacific story. He was able to cast more than 90 per cent Pacific Islanders, and even the crew itself was Pacific Islander,” Saelua said of the movie.
Watch the trailer for Next Goal Wins below.