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It's unfortunate that Taika Waititi's first film since the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Thor: Love and Thunder led to a severe shift in opinion on his merits as a filmmaker — even though he shot it long before he tackled the superhero franchise for a second time — has been deemed the worst of his career, but he required plenty of patience just to bring Next Goal Wins across the finish line.
Four Years in the Making
Almost four years have passed since the Academy Award winner called action on the biographical sports comedy, and during that time he's had to contend with reshoots, a pandemic, recasting Armie Hammer with Will Arnett, and reviews that have seen it land at the very bottom of his behind the camera filmography by way of a 47 percent Rotten Tomatoes approval rating.
Image via Searchlight Pictures
Learning Patience from Adam Sandler
Speaking to Empire, Waititi reflected on the long and arduous task of bringing Next Goal Wins to the screen ahead of its theatrical release next month, and he even name-dropped Adam Sandler as an unlikely inspiration behind his methods of maintaining a patient demeanor throughout the ordeal.
"I've got quite high standards when I work with other people, and can feel — when someone's not getting things right — this thing build up in me. I feel like this idea of becoming more patient with people is a thing that I've had to learn from being patient with this film. I really understand why Adam Sandler just does everything in Hawaii. It's just nice to be around brown people. It's like being at home! You want to relax me? Put me around Pacific Islanders."
Middling Responses and Moving On
Early talk of Next Goal Wins being an awards season contender may have evaporated in the face of its middling responses, but at least Waititi has managed to get it done, leaving him free to move onto his project whatever that may be, although Star Wars and Marvel fans may have opinions on what they don't want to see next.
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