Home Columns Deep Inside Hollywood Filmmaker Taika Waititi’s Non-Binary Goals

Filmmaker Taika Waititi’s Non-Binary Goals

Photo: KathClick

Filmmaker Taika Waititis career now spans wild comedy (What We Do In The Shadows), Marvel Cinematic Universe box-office juggernauts (Thor: Ragnarok), and daring Oscar-buzz satires (JoJo Rabbit). So naturally his next move is an inspirational sports film about a Samoan soccer team. Its called Next Goal Wins, and its about a real-life teams resurgence after suffering the longest losing streak in international football. Whats queer about that? The existence of Jaiyah Saelua, the first non-binary player to compete in a mens FIFA World Cup qualifying match. And whats queer about the casting is that it will be the debut film role for actor Kaimana, who is a faafafine Samoan actor (in Samoan culture, faafafine people comprise a non-binary gender identity). In other words, this will be the next step in non-binary representation in cinema, both in character placement and casting (after non-binary actor Asia Kate Dillons role in John Wick: Parabellum) and thats a significant development. 

Cicada gives SNLs Bowen Yang a Movie Role

We listen to Yangs podcast Las Culturistas and know him as one of the new cast additions to SNL. Of course, more importantly, like the rest of queer America, we also now know him as one of the writers of the instantly legendary Sara Lee Instagramsketch. At this point were pretty much just stalking his career wherever it happens to meander, like into the indie drama Cicada, currently in production. The first narrative feature from filmmaker Matthew Fifer, its the story of a young queer man who enters an interracial relationship and who then must, over the course of a summer, come to terms with traumatic childhood experiences. Fifer will play the one of the leads, as will fellow newcomer Sheldon Brown, but the supporting cast includes Yang and some very established names like Cobie Smulders (Avengers), Scott Adsit (30 Rock) and David Burtka (A Very Merry Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, where he played a bizarre version of himself alongside husband Neil Patrick Harris). Were expecting this one to hit indie film festivals first, so keep tabs on it.

Romeo San Vicente loves Sara Lee poundcake and youll have to get your own because he doesnt share.

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