The story of NFL MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, who went from stocking shelves at a supermarket to becoming an American Football star.The story of NFL MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, who went from stocking shelves at a supermarket to becoming an American Football star.The story of NFL MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, who went from stocking shelves at a supermarket to becoming an American Football star.
"American Underdog" chronicles the inspirational true story of Kurt Warner (Zachary Levi), who went from stocking shelves at a supermarket to becoming a two-time 'NFL MVP', 'Super Bowl' champion, 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. His dreams seemed all but out of reach, but with the support of his wife, Brenda (Anna Paquin) and the encouragement of his family, Warner perseveres and finds the strength to show the world the champion that he already was, inside. The film is an uplifting story that demonstrates that anything is possible when you have faith, family, and determination.
Kurt Warner was a champion before he ever put on an NFL uniform. Through life's fires, he finds the love of his life and a higher purpose. It's the classic Cinderella sports story of hidden talent rising to the top. It's a tale of determination, perseverance against incredible odds, and of family; all of the themes that mean so much to us all. Warner, a true-life hero whose exploits and life story are as compelling as a comic legend's world-saving deeds. The film sees Kurt's story as unfolding through three periods of football, college, the now defunct indoor league, 'Arena Football League', and the NFL. Each period looks and feels distinct. Each is like a character in the movie. Before joining the American NFL, Warner plays several seasons in the 'Arena Football League' and NFL Europe. He signs as a free agent with the St. Louis Rams in 1998 and sees only brief action in the last game of the season. He's abruptly handed the reins as the starting quarterback in 1999 when Trent Green (Ben Kacsandi), the Rams big free agent acquisition in the offseason, suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason. The film describes the daunting task of recreating Kurt's history-making NFL debut. Kurt is going to be that first game in the NFL against the Ravens.
With Warner at the helm, he led an explosive offense that scored 526 points. Warner passes for 4,353 yards and a league-leading 41 touchdowns to post a 109.2 rating, the first of two career passing crowns. He's named the NFL's 'Most Valuable Player' that year as the Rams posted a 13-3-0 mark. The team cruises through the playoffs and capped the magical season with a 23-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans in 'Super Bowl XXXIV'. Warner set a 'Super Bowl' record with 414 passing yards and threw a pair of touchdowns to lead the Rams to their first 'Super Bowl' title and is named the game's MVP. He records another MVP season two years later when he guides the Rams back to the 'Super Bowl'. His season totals includes a league-leading and career-high 4,830 yards and thirty-six touchdowns to post a 101.4 passer rating. He makes a third trek to the 'Super Bowl' during the 2008 season, when he led the Arizona Cardinals to the franchise's first division title since 1975 and it's first-ever 'Super Bowl' appearance. He sparks the Cardinals attack that season as he established numerous club records, completing 401 of 598 passes for 4,583 yards, 30 touchdowns, and a 96.9 passer rating.
Warner then guides the Cardinals through the playoffs as he engines wins over the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers before leading Arizona to a thrilling 32-25 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the 'NFC Championship Game', where he completes 21 of 28 passes for 279 yards and 4 touchdowns. He follows that performance by throwing for 377 yards and 3 TDs in a narrow loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 'Super Bowl XLIII'. He's the only quarterback to throw for 300 or more yards in three 'Super Bowls' and the three single-game totals still rank as the top three 'Super Bowl' passing marks. Named first-team All-Pro twice and selected to four 'Pro Bowls', Warner racks up 32,344 career yards, threw 208 touchdowns and recorded a 93.7 career passer rating. But none of Warner's heroics on the gridiron would be been possible without the incredible personal growth off the field. Warner plays in thé 'National Football League' for twelve seasons, primarily with the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals. His career, which sees him ascend from an undrafted free agent to a two-time 'Most Valuable Player' and 'Super Bowl MVP', is regarded as one of the greatest stories in NFL history.
Brenda is a survivor; a Marine who went through some incredible challenges. Brenda's faith is very much a part of Brenda's daily life, and in the way she processed the world. When you're working on a biography, you like to cross the lines as much as possible to bring the characters together. Sometimes that means recreating an outfit exactly, sometimes it means finding a story in a piece of jewelry or clothing that helps the character identify. More vibrant colors, sharper lines; that kind of thing. The film sources much of the clothing at thrift shops and altered them and she makes sure to subtly reflect her evolving social status. Dick Vermeil (Dennis Quaid) is a legendary Rams coach and Mike Martz (Chance Kelly) is the renowned Rams offensive coordinator. Both men are hugely influential to Kurt's career and life, and both have his best interests in mind, even if Martz has a cranky way of showing it. Their good-cop-bad-cop routine prepare Kurt well for what would be the game that changed his life. When an injury felled the Rams starting quarterback Trent Green, it's Vermeil who put Warner in as Green's replacement. The famously emotional coach held a press conference announcing the switch, at which he comments. Warner more than lived up to Vermeil's expectations. His breakthrough season is so unexpected that Sports Illustrated put him on the cover with the caption 'Who Is This Guy'? Cantankerous offensive coordinator Mike Martz is the yin to Vermeil's yang. He's character who can intimidate with a whisper and is captivating in every scene.
Mike Hudnutt (Darius Blain) is Kurt's longtime friend and teammate, who becomes the instrument of Kurt's introduction to Brenda. As the story goes, Hudnutt drags his friend to the country western bar, the 'Wild E. Coyote' and Kurt is determine not to have fun, until he sees Brenda across the crowded room. We know Arena League impresario Jim Foster (Bruce McGill) as a consummate salesperson and showman, PT Barnum crossed with revival preacher. Foster is one of pro football's great, quixotic characters, and his wild, entertaining Arena football provides Kurt with many opportunities, including a steady paycheck. It also becomes the gateway to Kurt's shot at the NFL. Brenda's son Zack (Hayden Zaller), whom Kurt later adopted, is as inspirational as his parents and he and his younger sister are pivotal to Kurt and Brenda's love story. A brain injury led to blindness and intellectual developmental issues, but Zack is a relentlessly positive and indefatigable soul. Zack's mind is so sharp, and his disposition is unbelievably kind and loving, and full of empathy. He has an understanding far beyond his years.
Kurt Warner, the former quarterback whose unexpected rise to fame, and the relationships that were the foundation for his success, are chronicles in the new film "American Underdog". "American Underdog" was filmed in and around Oklahoma City and in nearby Frisco, Texas at Star Stadium, the 91-acre campus of the Dallas Cowboys world headquarters and practice facility. It's, but there's so much more involved, including the relationships that were built, and which sustained his wife Brenda and him. The journey is defined by perseverance. That's who we're and what really makes the two of them tick. It's a rags-to-riches story. People should be ready to step into new and bigger things, and to not allow their circumstances to define them. "American Underdog" is both a football movie and an inspirational, emotional story for families to share. The film gives people the ability to dream for their own life, to unite with others, to focus on the things that are important in this life, to celebrate not just accomplishments but purpose. The film represents a beacon of hope that stirs the soul; no matter our circumstances, no matter how hard it's, if we never give up, the realization of a dream is always within reach. Anyone lucky enough to be in love will recognize that humility, inner strength, faith, grace, motivation, and a focus on what really counts in life, makes anything possible. This era can lean on the bulky side.
Written by Gregory Mann.
- Dec 25, 2021