Zachary Levi Says Kurt Warner Biopic Is About ‘Family, Love, Faith, and Perseverance’

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Zachary Levi Says Kurt Warner Biopic Is About ‘Family, Love, Faith, and Perseverance’

By Movieguide® Staff

Actor Zachary Levi announced his Kurt Warner biopic, written and directed by Jon and Andy Erwin, would debut in theaters come December.

“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,” Levi says of playing the iconic athlete. “That is the heart of this film. It’s kind of like: come for the football and stay for the family. I love that.”

AMERICAN UNDERDOG tells the inspiring true story of Warner, an NFL MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback who went from stocking shelves at a supermarket to becoming a legendary football player.

“Growing up, I was a Kurt Warner fan,” Levi says. “His Cinderella story is amongst one of the most amazing in all of sports. To be able to step into his shoes for even a moment to bring his and his family’s story to the big screen is an honor and a thrill. There is something in this movie for everyone and we’re really proud of that.”

Warner himself approves of Levi’s casting.

“We represent the same things,” Warner says. “When you think of someone playing you, you often think of the physical likeness they must have, but I believe Zac has both the physical and mental make-up to connect to my character.”

He continues, “Zac is a man of character and integrity, with a personal faith and belief in himself. These are all things that I possessed and things I felt helped me to accomplish what I accomplished, but more importantly have made me the man I am today.”

The Erwin Brothers previously wrote and directed the Movieguide® Award-winning movies I STILL BELIEVE and I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, as well as the Movieguide® Award-nominated movie WOODLAWN.

Movieguide® interviewed Jon while he was on set filming AMERICAN UNDERDOG during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was his relationship off the field with Brenda and her son, Zack, who was blind, who inspired him and gave him the courage he needed on the field,” Jon said from the Dallas Cowboys practice stadium that they transformed for AMERICAN UNDERDOG. “It’s just a great family story. … God’s providing, and it’s still great to be able to make films right now.”

Jon said he and Andy and their company, Kingdom Story Company, want to tell true, God-inspired stories, and that’s what led them to Warner’s testimony.

“You just can’t argue with the transformation in someone’s life, that Christianity brings, that the Gospel brings,” Jon tells Movieguide®.  “When it’s true, it’s just all that more powerful. I love it when someone watches the movies and says, ‘If that can happen to that person, maybe it can happen to me.’ In this case, if they can achieve their dreams, maybe I can too.”

AMERICAN UNDERDOG also stars Dennis Quaid and Anna Paquin.


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