After Lionsgate greenlit a film this past February about the life of Hall of Fame quarterback, Kurt Warner and his journey to the NFL, the studio has now found its main star. Actor Zachary Levi best known for NBC's Chuck and DC's Shazam! will portray Warner in American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story, which has a tentative release date of Dec. 18.
American Underdog, which starts production this year, will examine Warner's unlikely journey to the NFL. From stocking shelves at a grocery store to becoming Super Bowl MVP, Warner went from a relatively unknown player to a two-time NFL MVP. He also led two different teams to a combined three Super Bowl appearances with one victory. Jon Erwin and Andrew Erwin will direct and produce American Underdog, which is written by David Aaron Cohen, Jon Gunn and Jon Erwin.
"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," Levi said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.
"I am extremely excited to be working with Lionsgate and the Erwin Bros. to bring this story to life on the big screen, in hopes of encouraging all who see it to never stop believing in themselves and what God can do with them!" Warner said in a statement in February. Originally a practice squad member of the Green Bay Packers in 1994, Warner spent time in the Arena Football League before ultimately returning to the NFL as a member of the St. Louis Rams in 1998. He took over as the starter in 1999 after Trent Green suffered an injury, which is when his career took off.
Warner led the Rams to a victory over the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV, ending his first season as a champion. He won league MVP and was named Super Bowl MVP after leading the "Greatest Show on Turf" offense. He was also named to the Pro Bowl, his first of three consecutive seasons earning the honor.
Warner led the Rams back to the Super Bowl following the 2001 season, a loss to the New England Patriots. The team released him in 2003, which prompted a one-year move to the New York Giants. Following a brief stint in the Big Apple, Warner became a free agent and signed with the Arizona Cardinals ahead of the 2005 season. He remained in Arizona for the remainder of his career and led the NFC West team to its first Super Bowl appearance, a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.