Non-binary actor Kaimana has been cast in the lead role in Taika Waititi’s new film Next Goal Wins.
The film, based on a 2014 documentary of the same name, focuses on the American Samoa football team, dubbed ‘the worst football team in the world’.
Kaimana, a member of the fa’afafine (a third gender widely accepted in Samoa and American Samoa), will portray the team’s star player Jaiyah Saelua (also a fa’afafine), the first transgender football player to play in a men’s World Cup qualifier, The Hollywood Reporter reveals.
Watch the trailer for the original documentary below.
Also in the film will be Elisabeth Moss and Michael Fassbender, the latter of which will play the team’s Dutch-American coach Thomas Rongen.
Also set for roles in the film, which is currently beginning production in Hawaii, are Oscar Kightley, David Fane, Beulah Koale, Lehi Falepapalangi, Semu Filipo, Uli Latukefu and Rachel House.
Waititi is also serving as a producer on the film with Jonathan Cavendish and Garrett Basch. The Lord Of The Rings‘ Andy Serkis is an executive producer, alongside Will Tennant, and Kathryn Dean.
“I’ve just started production on my next film, Next Goal Wins. We have such an amazing cast and crew behind this film, and I’m stoked to be partnering once again with the lovely people at Fox Searchlight Pictures,” Waititi says of the new film, which sees him working with the team that produced his recent film Jojo Rabbit.
In a four-star review of Jojo Rabbit, NME‘s Greg Wetherall said: “Fans of Waititi’s whimsy will find much to admire in Jojo Rabbit – yet another mirth-inducing concoction that keeps the filmmaker’s career on an upward trajectory. How long can he keep it going?”