Director Taika Waititi has been lined up to take control of the Thor: Ragnarök sequel, but not before shooting his next flick Next Goal Wins.
The 44-year-old, who shot to prominence with his short film ‘Two Cars, One Night’, has been entrusted with the Thor sequel, with Digital Spy reporting that Natalie Portman has already been signed up to star. Fans must be patient though as Waititi is going to try his hand at a soccer film first.
Next Goal Wins is the tale of the American Samoa soccer team and their attempts to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. In 2002, The Boys from the Territory suffered a humiliating 31-0 defeat at home to Australia and they’ve been widely regarded as one of the weakest teams in the world for some time, the perfect foil for a Hollywood movie.
Michael Fassbender and Elizabeth Moss are signed up to feature and Waititi will also break new ground by featuring unknown actor Kaimana, who identifies as non-binary. They’re set to play Jaiyah Saelua the first non-binary player to ever compete in a men’s World Cup game.
It’s an interesting prospect and one that will be a sharp contrast to the blockbuster Thor: Love and Thunder set to follow in 2021. The prequel took $854m at the box office and was a worldwide success, with the sequel eagerly anticipated by Marvel fans desperate for their next fix.
As well as Portman, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth is set to reprise his role as Thor in a series that shows no signs of slowing now Waititi has his hands on them. He’s widely regarded as the saviour of the franchise and the is fresh interest in the character in the wider media.
Thor’s increased popularity has seen several spin-offs across digital media, as well as the exciting new fourth film. Foxy Games has a range of titles inspired by the Marvel version of Thor including Thunderstruck II and Thor’s Lightning, adding to the 2011 console release Thor: God of Thunder. With a wait of at least two years before the new film gets near the cinema, fans of Thor’s adventures will be looking to quench their thirst for the character anywhere that they can.
The new film should be worth the wait, with Portman set to reprise her role from Thor and Thor: Dark World. She’s back as Jane Foster, the wielder of the Asgardian hammer Mjolnir, and some fans have speculated that the character may be facing a cancer battle in the film.
“It’s just very rare that these kinds of big entertainment films look at more serious, real-life issues,” she said recently. “I really don’t know anything about it. I haven’t seen anything, but I’ve heard the same rumors as you have, and it’s exciting to think about.”
It would certainly be a new direction in which to take the rejuvenated franchise and Waititi is a director who can handle a mix of serious issues with the over-the-top comic book realization.
Fans will just have to be patient as he looks to depict non-binary representation in sports first.