Kurt Warner‘s impressive story is turning into a major motion picture. Today, we got our first look at American Underdog, which stars Shazam!‘s Zachary Levi as the former St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals great.
Warner’s story became major national news as he guided the Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” to the Super Bowl. He was undrafted out of Northern Iowa, and briefly had a cup of coffee with the Green Bay Packers in 1994, but never made the regular season roster. He wound up stocking groceries and doing some coaching at his alma mater, while pursuing an Arena Football League career with the Iowa Barnstormers.
After two impressive All-Arena seasons, he signed a deal with the St. Louis Rams. Following a stint in NFL Europe, he made the roster in 1999, taking over starting duties after Trent Green tore his ACL in a preseason game. Warner would go on to win the MVP Award and lead the team to the Super Bowl in his first year as starter. He’d go on to win another MVP award in 2001, reach four Pro Bowls, and lead the Rams and Cardinals to additional Super Bowl appearances.
Levi is joined by Dennis Quaid, playing Rams coach Dick Vermeil, and Anna Paquin as Warner’s wife Brenda. Hours after the trailer dropped, fans have had a wide range of takes on the film, slated for December. Some are excited for another inspirational sports movie, though many aren’t quite sure that “the Kurt Warner story” rises to a Hollywood level, and have some questions about the casting and the football that we see.
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
One major issue that is catching heat early on: Zachary Levi’s throwing motion. It…doesn’t quite look like Warner, or any NFL Hall of Famer.
So, did they just forget to teach Zachary Levi how to throw a football?
Still looking forward to this, but…. https://t.co/iRvnK8GE1m
— Corey Miller (@corey_miller5) July 7, 2021
— Martin Banks (@mmmmBanks) July 7, 2021
I love Zachary Levi but I can’t see him playing Kurt Warner. This is a complete miscast 🏈
— Juan Maldonado (@Jammer_20) July 7, 2021
The Rams jerseys also look quite weird, especially when it comes to numbers that look more like a knock-off NFL jersey than one that you’d see on Sundays back in 1999.
is it illegal to give movie football players pads that even remotely fit? https://t.co/JgH5Vkc4uN
— Mike Golic Jr (@mikegolicjr) July 7, 2021
Could they have done a worse job on the Rams uniform numbers? Good gravy.
— mistah_jay_peg (@jay_peg) July 7, 2021
Some football fans aren’t quite as jaded as many of us, and are legitimately excited to see Kurt Warner’s story on the silver screen.
I don’t know about anyone else but when I think underdog I think Kurt Warner and the Greatest Show on Turf https://t.co/dePfNchjcU
— Zach Coe (@Coe_Zach) July 7, 2021
Whaaaatttt?! My favorite actor doing a Kurt Warner bioflick. Amazing! I had no idea this was a thing. https://t.co/oQiTyZ3Gug
— Chris (@Crantasticran) July 7, 2021
American Underdog, which is directed by Jon and Andrew Erwin, is set to hit theaters on December 10.