According to Deadline, Will Arnett has replaced Armie Hammer in Searchlight Pictures’ soccer comedy Next Goal Wins based on the 2014 documentary of the same name from Oscar winner director Taika Waititi.
Hammer’s departure comes after multiple women accused him of sexual abuse. He has denied the allegations and argues that any sexual connections he had were consensual. Hammer was dropped from several films and television shows following the controversy, including the Jennifer Lopez rom-com Shotgun Wedding, Amma Asante’s Cold War Drama Billion Dollar Spy opposite Mads Mikkelsen, and the Watergate series Gaslit starring Julia Roberts.
Hammer was playing the role of an executive at the Football Federation American Samoa, which has now been given to Arnett.
Next Goal Wins follows a historically bad American Samoa soccer team, well remembered for a humiliating 31-0 loss in a FIFA competition in 2001. With the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers fast approaching, the squad employs down-on-his-luck, renegade coach Thomas Rongen (Michael Fassbender), thinking that he can turn around the world’s worst soccer team. Along with directing, Waititi co-wrote the script with Iain Morris (The Inbetweeners).
Arnett joins the cast of Elizabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale), Oscar Kightley (Moana), David Fane (Westside), Beulah Koale (Hawaii Five-O), Lehi Falepapalangi (Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.), Semu Filipo (Young Rock), Uli Latukefu (Alien: Covenant), Rachel House (Soul), Chris Alosio (Millie Lies Low), Rhys Darby (Yes Man) and Angus Sampson (Mad Max: Fury Road).
Arnett can be seen in Paramount’s animated comedy Rumble, available for streaming on Paramount+.