Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

Two-time NFL MVP Kurt Warner to be portrayed by Zachary Levi in new movie

A movie titled “American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story” about the incredible life and career of former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner is set to be released in December 2021. Now, it’s known who will portray the Arena-League-upstart-turned-Super-Bowl-MVP on the big screen.

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The movie’s entertainment company, Lionsgate, confirmed last week that Zachary Levi has been cast as Warner. Levi previously starred as a superhero in DC Comics’ “Shazam!”

Levi said in a statement, “Kurt’s story is one of relentless faith — in his own abilities but even more so in a higher power. 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.”

The television and movie star took to Instagram to express excitement about his newest project.

“Beyond pumped for this one,” Levi wrote in part. “Have always found Kurt Warner, and his family, and their journey, to be an uplifting and inspiring one. Can’t wait to bring their story to screens both large and small.”

Warner, now 49, responded to Levi with a Twitter post of his own: “What a crazy, amazing journey this has been … now I’m going to be played by a superhero!!”

“American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story” is based on interviews with Warner, as well as his memoir “All Things Possible: My Story of Faith, Football and the First Miracle Season.”

The upcoming movie will detail Warner’s nearly unfathomable story of stocking shelves at a supermarket in Cedar Falls, Iowa, to finding his way in the now-defunct Arena Football League, to becoming a two-time NFL MVP (1999, 2001).

In his first breakout season in 1999 after coming off of the St. Louis Rams’ bench as a relative unknown, Warner spearheaded a record-setting offense known at “The Greatest Show on Turf.” He won Super Bowl MVP at the conclusion of that year, in January 2000, as his team took down the Tennessee Titans, 23-16.

On the championship podium with the world watching after his Super Bowl performance, Warner praised God. “First things first,” he said, “I’ve got to thank my Lord and Savior up above – thank You, Jesus!”

Nine years later, Warner found himself headed to the Super Bowl for the third time in his career, this time with the Arizona Cardinals. Again, his gratitude to God could not be contained: “Everybody’s going to be tired of hearing this, but I never get tired of saying it. There’s one reason that I’m standing up on this stage today. That’s because of my Lord up above. I’ve got to say thanks to Jesus.”

Warner was outspoken about his faith in Christ throughout his Pro Football Hall of Fame career, and that faith will permeate the upcoming movie. The film will be directed and produced by John and Andrew Erwin, Christian film directors, screenwriters and producers known collectively as the Erwin Brothers.

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