There are sports stories that seem like they were tailor-made for the big screen. Over the years, we’ve seen the likes of Rudy, Remember the Titans, and The Blind Side that have all come along and taken true stories and turned them into inspirational movies that have filled theaters with moviegoers and our hearts with joy.
That time-honored tradition will continue on a little bit longer with the upcoming release of American Underdog, the story of how Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner went from a player no one wanted to touch to the leader of “The Greatest Show On Turf.” With one of the greatest sports stories in recent memory, and a cast led by Zachary Levi, there are plenty of reasons to be excited…
American Underdog Will Be Released Theatrically December 25, 2021
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Kurt Warner being named the NFL Most Valuable Player for a second time, and so it’s only fitting that American Underdog will be released in theaters December 25, 2021. The rags-to-riches story of Warner’s unconventional rise to stardom, a Super Bowl victory, two MVPs, and enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame was previously scheduled to be released on December 18, 2020, before the start of production was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Talk about a perfect way to spend Christmas afternoon with the family.
The American Underdog Cast Includes Zachary Levi, Anna Paquin And Dennis Quaid
Stepping in to take on the role of Kurt Warner in the American Underdog cast is star of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Zachary Levi, who will play the quarterback from his college days and into the height of his NFL career (though I suspect they won’t recreate the brutal hit on Warner by the New Orleans Saints in the final game of his career). Academy Award-winning actress Anna Paquin will be playing Kurt’s longtime wife and biggest ally, Brenda Warner. Dennis Quaid, who previously appeared in the real-life sports movie The Rookie, will step in to take on the role of former St. Louis Rams coach Dick Vermeil, who helped lead the team to their only Super Bowl victory.
Other members of the American Underdog cast include Cindy Hogan, Ser’Darius Blain, Adam Baldwin, Bruce McGill, and Chance Kelly, who will all be playing key figures from Kurt Warner’s remarkable life on and off the field.
American Underdog Tells The Inspirational Story Of Kurt Warner As He Goes From A Grocery Store Worker To Football Hall Of Famer
When American Underdog opens in theaters, it will tell perhaps one of the most unforgettable sports stories of the past quarter-century, one that sounds more like something dreamt up for a movie than reality. This inspirational story will follow Kurt Warner from a stocker at a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, grocery store (after being cut from the Green Bay Packers training camp) to arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks of his time.
Expect to see all the ups and downs experienced by the one-day Super Bowl champion as he tries to prove to the world that he has what it takes to make it at the highest level of football. The film will also dive into Kurt Warner’s faith, which gave him the strength and determination to not give up on himself when so many people did.
American Underdog Is Based On Interviews With Kurt Warner And His 2009 Memoir
The American Underdog screenplay was written by Jon Erwin (who also directs alongside his brother Andrew Erwin), David Aaron Cohen (Friday Night Lights), and Jon Gunn, and is based on a series of interviews with Kurt Warner, as well as the two-time NFL MVP’s memoir, All Things Possible: My Story of Faith, Football and the First Miracle Season (opens in new tab). Released in 2009, All Things Possible, which was co-written by Michael Silver, tells the unbelievable story of Warner’s perseverance and determination to make his dreams come true at every step of his career, as well as his work off the gridiron.
Zachary Levi Has Called American Underdog ‘Incredibly Relatable’
There are a myriad of reasons why Kurt Warner’s incredible story has continued to inspire people around the world all these years later, but one of the biggest is the way so many people relate to the quarterback’s struggles, and how he never lost faith in himself. This is something that star Zachary Levi touched on in Lionsgate’s behind-the-scenes video, American Underdog: From the Dream to the Big Screen:
Kurt Warner, who also serves as one of American Underdog’s executive producers, also stated in the brief video that he’s had so many people tell him that his story is meant for the big screen.
Zachary Levi And Kurt Warner Debuted The American Underdog Trailer On Jimmy Kimmel
During the September 20, 2021 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Zachary Levi and Kurt Warner surprised everyone when they showed up and talked about American Underdog before providing an exclusive first look at the trailer for the upcoming film:
During the brief lead-up to the big reveal of the new trailer, host Jimmy Kimmel asked Kurt Warner a series of questions regarding the movie and his career only for Zachary Levi to interrupt each time before the Super Bowl champ could get a word in. Who knows, maybe these two could go on the late night talk show circuit and continue this oddly hilarious bit.
Expect to hear more about American Underdog as we work our way closer to its Christmas Day release date. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out CinemaBlend’s updated list of 2021 movie premiere dates for everything else coming to theaters and streaming services in the final months of the year.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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