Oscar Kightley, David Fane and Semu Filipo are expected to walk the red carpet in Auckland on Monday night for the premiere of Taika Waititi's new sports-comedy film, Next Goal Wins.
The trio play Tavita, Ace and Rambo respectively in the film, which is centred on the "world's worst soccer team", American Samoa.
In the 2001 World Cup Qualifiers, the team lost their qualifying match against Australia 31-0, one of the biggest defeats ever recorded in sporting history.
The film focuses on down-on-his-luck maverick coach Thomas Rongen (Michael Fassbender) as he tries to turn the team around in what producers are calling a "heartfelt underdog comedy."
The premiere is taking place at Auckland's Event Cinemas in Newmarket.
In September the movie had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, with Waititi in attendance.
Feedback online after the screening praised the film as a "real crowd-pleaser".
"[It] ticks all the inspirational sports movie boxes, but it's as feel-good as it gets," one said.
"Genial, large-hearted, inclusive sports comedy is sure to be a huge crowd pleaser. Third act smaltz is like extra icing on already sweet cake but audience will gobble this up," another at the premiere said.
Waititi is not expected to appear in person at the Auckland premiere on Monday night.
Next Goal Wins hits cinemas in Aotearoa on December 7.2023-11-19T22:53:27Z dg43tfdfdgfd