Following his, shall we legally describe them as… personal issues… last year, Armie Hammer is largely persona non grata in Hollywood right now. Some movies needed to cut around him in their trailers, while Next Goal Wins, the based-on-truth football tale that is likely to be Taika Waititi‘s latest to see the inside of cinemas, has taken the replacement route, subbing in Will Arnett instead.

The original Next Goal Wins follows Dutch coach Thomas Rongen, who attempts the nearly impossible task of turning the American Samoa soccer team from perennial losers into winners. Andy Serkis and his Imaginarium team picked up the rights to Mike Brett and Steve Jamison’s documentary in 2015, and brought it to Waititi’s attention. The busy filmmaker worked on the script with Iain Morris.

Michael Fassbender plays Rongen in Waititi’s fictionalised version of the story, while Hammer had been playing an executive at Football Federation American Samoa, in what is being described as a cameo. He wasn’t available – more diplomatic talk there – when Waititi did some re-shoots, so Arnett is taking on an expanded version of the role.

Elizabeth Moss, Oscar Kightley, David Fane, Beulah Koale, Lehi Falepapalangi, Semu Filipo, Uli Latukefu, Rachel House, Kaimana, Chris Alosio, Rhys Darby and Angus Sampson are all in the cast, while the film doesn’t have an official release date yet.

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