Filmmaker Taika Waititi’s 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. It’s called Next Goal Wins, and it’s about a real-life team’s resurgence after suffering the longest losing streak in international football. What’s queer about that? The existence of Jaiyah Saelua, the first non-binary player to compete in a men’s FIFA World Cup qualifying match. And what’s queer about the casting is that it will be the debut film role for actor Kaimana, who is a fa’afafine Samoan actor (in Samoan culture, fa’afafine 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 Dillon’s role in John Wick: Parabellum) and that’s a significant development.
Cicada gives SNL’s Bowen Yang a Movie Role
We listen to Yang’s 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 Instagram” sketch. At this point we’re 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, it’s 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). We’re expecting this one to hit indie film festivals first, so keep tabs on it.
Romeo San Vicente loves Sara Lee poundcake and you’ll have to get your own because he doesn’t share.