Zachary Levi to play Kurt Warner in Lionsgate’s American Underdog
Kingdom Story Company and Lionsgate have announced that Zachary Levi (Shazam!) will star as two-time NFL MVP and Hall of Famer Kurt Warner in American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story, which is expected to begin production later this year.
The film, which is being based on interviews with Warner and his memoir, “All Things Possible: My Story of Faith, Football and the First Miracle Season,” is set to be directed by Jon and Andrew Erwin (I Can Only Imagine, I Still Believe) and will chronicle the true story of Warner, who went from stocking shelves at a supermarket to become a two-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback.
“Kurt’s story is one of relentless faith – in his own abilities but even more so in a higher power,” Levi said in a statement. “When I read Kurt’s story, I identified with the quiet strength he found to persevere – that’s something I think anybody can recognize in their own lives. This is the kind of underdog story that sports movies are all about, and the fact that it’s true makes it even more special. I’m thrilled to be part of bringing his story to audiences.”
The biopic is being penned by David Aaron Cohen (Friday Night Lights) and the Erwin Brothers, who are also attached to produce the project via their Kingdom banner alongside Mark Ciardi (Invincible, The Rookie) and Kevin Downes, with Kurt and wife Brenda Warner attached to co-produce.
“Zachary was our first and only choice,” Jon Erwin said in a statement. “He brings a combination of humble charm and charisma as well as an intense physicality to the role. For our last several films, we have brought inspiring real life stories to the big screen and there is something magnificent and magical to Kurt’s rise as a champion.”
“This is about an everyman who never let his dream die,” Andre Erwin added. “Zachary was born to play this role – and when you add in his uncanny resemblance to Kurt Warner, we’re thrilled to be working with him.”
American Underdog marks the third film to be greenlit by Lionsgate in the past year, with Jim Miller and Chelsea Kujawa overseeing the project for the studio. It also marks the second film Levi has joined for the studio this year after signing on to star alongside Cole Sprouse (Riverdale) in the music comedy Under Cover.
(Photos by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic & Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)