The Emmy-nominated star of “Arrested Development” and “BoJack Horseman” replaced Hammer in the upcoming Searchlight Pictures release from the Oscar winner, which is based on the 2014 British documentary of the same name. The film follows an American Samoa soccer team famous for losing every competitive game they ever played. Desperate to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, the team hires an American-based Dutch coach with unorthodox methods, played by Michael Fassbender, who has one month to get them game ready and learn a few lessons about the true meaning of winning. The cast also includes Elisabeth Moss, David Fane, Beulah Koale, Oscar Kightley, and Lehi Falepapalangi.
This will be the second recent soccer-related project for Arnett — who was most recently seen all-too briefly as Alex Levy’s agent on Season 2 of Apple+’s “The Morning Show.” The actor also recently co-starred on British comedy “The First Two,” as chairman of a Premium League football club.
“Next Goal Wins” is Waititi’s first directorial feature film since helming 2020’s awards darling “Jojo Rabbit.” Waititi picked up an Oscar for Best Screenplay for that film, and quickly announced a slew of additional projects. In addition to the forthcoming “Next Goal Wins,” the writer-director is in post-production on “Thor: Love and Thunder” and recently saw “Reservation Dogs,” the FX series he created with Sterlin Harjo, land on many critics’ top 10 lists for 2021.
This marks the latest project from which Hammer has been dropped or replaced, though seemingly the first in which his scenes have been refilmed. (Deadline reports that this role was little more than a cameo.) In the wake of a sexting scandal in early 2021 and then as a subject in an alleged sexual assault investigation by the LAPD, he was dropped from espionage thriller “Billion Dollar Spy,” Paramount+ series “The Offer,” about the making of “The Godfather,” and the rom-com “Shotgun Wedding,” opposite Jennifer Lopez, among others. He also dropped out of upcoming Broadway play “The Minutes.” Hammer will be seen, however, in the star-studded upcoming ensemble cast of “Death on the Nile,” directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot and in theaters February 11.