The inspiring true story of American football quarterback Kurt Warner is the first faith and family Lionsgate film to earn a coveted Christmas Day release — indicating God is “opening doors” in film, director Andy Erwin has said.
Starring Zachary Levi (“Shazam,” “Chuck”) and Anna Paquin, the drama tells the true story of Warner, who went from stocking shelves at a supermarket to becoming a Super Bowl-winning MVP, and Hall of Fame quarterback. The film centers on Warner’s unique story and years of challenges and setbacks that could have derailed his aspirations to become an NFL player – but just when his dreams seemed all but out of reach, it is only with the support of his wife, Brenda (Anna Paquin) and the encouragement of his family, coaches, and teammates that Warner perseveres and finds the strength to show the world the champion that he already is. American Underdog is an uplifting story that demonstrates that anything is possible when you have faith, family and determination.
The film reunites Levi with directors Jon and Andy Erwin, who previously worked with the actor for their faith-based movie “The Unbreakable Boy.” The film is produced by Kevin Downes along with Mark Ciardi (“The Rookie,” “Miracle” and “Secretariat”), Warner and his wife, Brenda.
“God is opening doors in film that I never thought was possible — that John and I and Kevin, our producing partner, have only dreamed of,” Andy Erwin shared in a recent interview with The Christian Post.
Erwin told CP the “story turned out fantastic” and “Lionsgate really supported it.”
“We’re so excited about how it turned out, so much so that Lionsgate gave us a Christmas Day release, which has never happened for anything involving faith, so it’s incredible,” he added.
The filmmaker, who along with his brother is behind the blockbuster hit, “I Can Only Imagine,” said he’s excited for viewers to see “American Underdog,” which was created from interviews with the Warners and is based on Kurt’s memoir, “All Things Possible: My Story of Faith, Football, and the First Miracle Season.”
Warner, 50, started in the NFL in 1994 with the Green Bay Packers but after being released worked in a Hy-Vee grocery store. He got into arena football with the Iowa Barnstormers and then played for the Amsterdam Admirals before joining the St. Louis Rams in 1998. He stuck in the NFL through 2009.
With the Rams, Warner won Super Bowl XXXIV, taking the game’s MVP honor, and was also the Associated Press NFL MVP and a First Team All-Pro selection in both 1999 and 2001.
The Hall of Famer played for the New York Giants in 2004 before closing his career with the Cardinals from 2005-09. He led Arizona to Super Bowl XLIII, a 27-23 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.