• Thomas Bonifield

"American Underdog" from the Erwin Brothers out in December

This biopic tells the incredible story of the rise of National Football League Hall-of-Famer Kurt Warner.

Zachary Levi (left) and Dennis Quaid in a scene from the movie. Image: "American Underdog"/Instagram.

Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin, among the top filmmakers in the Christian genre, are bringing another inspirational true story to the silver screen. And for the second time, the brothers are turning their attention to football, with American Underdog, which focuses on the life of committed Christian and former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner.


Zachary Levi (left) and Kurt Warner during production of the movie. Image: "American Underdog"/Instagram.

Now 50 years old and a member of the league's Hall of Fame, the Iowa native went undrafted out of college in 1993 and spent time stocking grocery store shelves before playing several years in the Arena Football League and NFL Europe. He finally made it to the NFL in 1998 and shot to fame the next season, leading the then St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl title and earning both the game and league Most Valuable Player awards.


The movie stars Zachary Levi (Shazam) as the QB, someone he was a fan of growing up. In an interview with People, Warner calls Levi the "perfect person" to portray him, saying it's not just because of the physical likeness, but because the 40-year-old actor "is a man of character and integrity, with a personal faith and belief in himself," which are among the traits that helped Warner achieve what he did.


Levi, for his part, calls this project "an honor and a thrill" in that same People story. And he notes that Warner's journey is about much more than sports.

"What surprised me most about playing Kurt was when I was learning more about his story, I realized that his story is less about football and more about family, love, faith and perseverance."

The other lead roles feature Anna Paquin as Warner's wife, Brenda, and Dennis Quaid playing Dick Vermeil, his head coach with the Rams. This is the second time the Erwin Brothers have worked with Quaid - he was in I Can Only Imagine - and it's also their second football movie: the first was Woodlawn, a 2015 biopic about Tony Nathan, who, like the Erwins, is from Birmingham, AL.


American Underdog is scheduled to release in theaters nationwide on December 10th. In the meantime, you can check out some behind-the-scenes footage and interviews in this link to the movie's social media page.