“I’ve had so many people tell me, you’re story is made for Hollywood. It’s made for the big screen.” That’s Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner in the teaser trailer for the upcoming biopic about his life, “American Underdog.”
Despite the fact that 20th Century Fox bought the rights to Warner’s story way back in 2013, Lionsgate is the studio releasing the film. Written by David Aaron Cohen, who wrote the script for the Friday Night Lights movie, along with directors Jon Erwin and Andrew Erwin, the film is scheduled to be released in theaters on December 10, 2021.
Chase your dream. Watch an exclusive behind-the-scenes look of American Underdog – in theaters this December. pic.twitter.com/IQbjwLTsgO
— American Underdog (@AmericanUnderdg) July 7, 2021
Zachary Levi, star of the TV show Chuck and DC’s surprise hit Shazam takes on the role of Warner while Anna Paquin plays his wife, Brenda Warner. Dennis Quaid, who might be contractually obligated to play all head coaches in football player biopics, plays Rams head coach Dick Vermeil.
The film was fast-tracked this past February to be released in time for the holiday season, which might explain why the quality of the teaser doesn’t scream big-budget production. There’s also some quibbling over whether or not Levi resembles Warner, though one could argue that’s not really the point.
Zachary Levi IS Ben Affleck AS Kurt Warner in "American Underdog," coming to a theater (?) near you. pic.twitter.com/WfK21GDo0h
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) July 7, 2021
Why does this Kurt Warner biopic look like it was filmed by a Hallmark Christmas movie production company? pic.twitter.com/FvLoGw4M3u
— CogginToboggan (@CogginToboggan) July 7, 2021
If the film resembles the look and feel of something you’d associate with the Hallmark Channel or faith-based films, that’s because that’s quite literally the pedigree behind the production. First and foremost, the Warners are executive producers of the film, which is based heavily on Warner’s memoir, All Things Possible: My Story Of Faith, Football, and the First Miracle Season. Directors Andrew and Jon Erwin are considered two of the most successful Christian film directors and film producers in America. Their films, which include I Can Only Imagine and October Baby, have collectively grossed over $100 million worldwide. Their production company, Kingdom Story Company, has partnered with Lionsgate on multiple releases already.
Inbox: Some first-look photos this AM courtesy of Lionsgate, of Zachary Levi as Kurt Warner in upcoming biopic, "American Underdog" – also, Dennis Quaid as Dick Vermeil and Anna Paquin as Brenda Warner pic.twitter.com/edBWTWVQj5
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) July 7, 2021
Along with a healthy dose of faith, the film will follow Warner’s rise from grocery store worker to Arena Football League quarterback to underdog NFL quarterback to Super Bowl champion (Spoilers…). Warner would go on to appear in two more Super Bowls, one with the Rams and one with the Arizona Cardinals, before wrapping his Hall of Fame career following the 2009 season. Warner has worked as an NFL analyst for NFL Network and Westwood One radio in the years since.