Nothing says Christmas to me like going to see a movie in theaters. Usually, that entails some comic book superhero spectacle or a sci-fi epic in the vein of Star Wars or Avatar; however, this year I will be seeing a different type of story. This year in particular reminds me of 2001 when Will Smith and Michael Mann released Ali. Because this year Kurt Warner, actor Zachary Levi, and directors Andrew and Jon Erwin are making a movie about Kurt Warner's life called American Underdog that will be released on Christmas Day.

The film stars Zachary Levi as the football star himself Kurt Warner. He will be joined by Anna Paquin who will play Kurt's wife Brenda Warner, as well as: Dennis Quaid who plays Dick Vermeil, O.J. Keith Simpson who plays Marshall Faulk, and Bruce McGill as Jim Foster the owner of Kurt's arena football team. Lionsgate describes the film as:

"American Underdog tells the inspirational true story of Kurt Warner (Zachary Levi), who went from a stockboy at a grocery store to 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 - 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".

It has been a great year for sports movies being that earlier this year we received the Will Smith Richard Williams movie, King Richard. And now we are about to get the Kurt Warner movie. I believe this movie will succeed because it has everything you would want from a good sports movie. First, it has an inspiring story. No one is as inspiring as Kurt Warner. To see him go from a stock boy after college to an Arena football success story to two-time NFL MVP and Superbowl champion is the epitome of inspiration.  Secondly, we have a great cast of actors who can portray these real-world individuals the right way. So much so that legendary coach Dick Vermeil told directors Andrew and Jon Erwin by way of a story from CBS Sports Cody Benjamin that "Thanks for reaching out. Now don't screw up this story.". Along with the added pressure from the coach, Warner and his wife Brenda Warner took on the role of executive producer to make sure the film was made the right way. Finally, the last reason is it is telling a story about more than sports. I know that sounds odd with a sports movie; however, for a sports movie to really connect with the cultural zeitgeist it needs something extra for people to latch on to. With King Richard, it was a movie about a father who connects with his daughters and the pressures and struggles of being a dad. However, with American Underdog it will be the connection of Kurt Warner and his wife Brenda. How Brenda supported and was Kurt's rock through everything they went through to get to the NFL. I truly believe that aspect of the story combined with the sports aspect and the love they shared will be what makes people want to watch this movie.

American Underdog will be released for theaters everywhere on December 25th Christmas Day. Will you be in attendance on Christmas Day, I know I will be!

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