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The Greatest Show on Turf

Kurt Warner is getting his own Hollywood biopic, get ready for lots of emotional grocery bagging scenes

July 07, 2021

In many ways, Kurt Warner’s story is the football story. A guy down on his luck, wasting his cannon arm flinging loaves of bread in the supermarket, gets a small break. Then a bigger one. He sweats. He grinds. He studies the playbook. The next thing you know, he’s coming out of nowhere to lead The Greatest Show on Turf, standing for one brief moment atop the pinnacle of sport. If you put your mind to your task and your nose to the grindstone, anything is possible. That is football’s most quintessentially American promise and few players have made good on it quite like Kurt Warner.

All of which is a longwinded way of saying Kurt Warner is now getting his own Hollywood movie.

Yep, that’s the real deal folks. Starring Zachary Levi (you may know him as Chuck from ‘Chuck’) as Warner, Anna Paquin as Brenda Warner, and Dennis Quaid as Dick Vermeil, ‘American Underdog’ is the story of Warner’s rise from middle-American grocery bagger to Super Bowl champion (and all-time guy-who-nobody-has-anything-bad-to-say-about). It hits theaters in December, making it one of the first holiday releases of 2021 that isn’t some blockbuster that’s been sitting on the shelf due to COVID-19 postponements.

Overall, there are some red flags here. Your little sister can throw a deep out more convincingly than Levi and the vibe is decidedly “cable TV pastor fundraiser.” But we have reached the inevitable point of Warner’s story where we start retelling that story in our own ways. We get things wrong. We stretch the facts. We make the small things seem bigger and the big things smaller. In other words, we’re ready to make movies about it. Let go of the facts for 90 minutes and grit your teeth through football scenes directed by people who have never seen a second of football in their entire lives, and who knows, you just might enjoy it.