Taika Waititi: Next Goal Wins is a personal film

Taika Waititi could relate to 'Next Goal Wins' credit:Bang Showbiz
Taika Waititi could relate to 'Next Goal Wins' credit:Bang Showbiz

Taika Waititi admits that 'Next Goal Wins' had personal resonance.

The 47-year-old director has helmed the big-screen adaptation of the documentary about the American Samoa football team – considered to be the weakest team in the world – and could relate to his upbringing in Polynesia.

In an interview with Empire magazine, Taika said: "It's the ultimate underdog story.

"It taking place in Polynesia is very important to me, because it's my people. We stick together. It was like seeing myself up there, seeing my family up there, when I saw that documentary, which is so perfect in many ways.

"And to have broader audiences have access to that story was one of my main goals. To bring our backyard to people, and to put brown faces on screen was a big deal for me. I just loved it."

Taika explained that he embraced the contrast of working on the sports film, which stars Michael Fassbender and Elisabeth Moss, to directing 'Thor: Love and Thunder' and 'Jojo Rabbit'.

He said: "It was a great antidote to doing 'Thor' and 'Jojo Rabbit'. Not that there's anything negative about doing those other films, but I just missed him so much."

Waititi confirmed that he would be bringing his own twist to the story that follows American Samoa's attempts to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

The 'What We Do in the Shadows' helmer said: "If you love films that are really authentic to the true stories, then you're gonna hate this movie.

"I mean, just watch the documentary if you want to see exactly what happened. We go a bit deeper with these characters. The way that everything unfolded is the same."