Netflix has dropped the new trailer of the inspirational sports film Champions, a story of basketball and redemption starring Woody Harrelson as a disgraced minor league basketball coach. After being fired from his job and several other missteps, he’s left coaching a team of intellectually disabled basketball players as part of his community service. Despite his initial misgivings about the team, however, he realizes how far he might be able to take them. The trailer tees up an emotional, yet hilarious tale that takes the team all the way to the Special Olympics.
After another miserable performance, an on-court spat with another coach, and a disgraceful appearance on SportsCenter, Marcus Markovich is at his lowest until he crashes into the back of a police cruiser. He gets a break in court by only having to do community service, though he’s not particularly sensitive to his new team. Initially, he thinks they’re uncoachable and has real trouble not calling them a particular “boo-boo word” that starts with an r.
However, he warms up to his players and finally learns how to build relationships through working with them. He even hits it off with Alex, the sister of one of his players. He and his team end up on the doorstep of the regional tournament and, although it gives him a path back to the NBA, he’s completely focused on making his team champions and ensuring they have fun along the way
Champions is just one of a number of titles on the docket for the Academy Award-nominated Harrelson. He’ll next be seen in the miniseries The White House Plumbers in 2023, and he’s also aboard Laura Chinn’s debut feature Suncoast which is currently in post-production. He, Olson, and Hudson lead a cast that also features Cheech Marin, Matt Cook, and Madison Tevlin.
Bobby Farrelly directed Champions, this time working without his brother and producing partner Peter Farrelly. Together, the two created several acclaimed comedies including Dumb & Dumber, There’s Something About Mary and Me, Myself, and Irene among others. This latest project marks a reunion between Farrelly and Harrelson after the star previously led the brothers’ 1996 bowling comedy Kingpin. Penning the film is Mark Rizzo in his first feature since the TV movie Zip in 2008.
Harrelson has dabbled in production more often as of late with projects like The Freak Brothers and the upcoming The White House Plumbers, and he’ll once again take on an executive production role here in addition to starring. He joins fellow executive producers Brad Kessell, Alexander Jooss, Álvaro Longoria, Javier Fesser, and Luis Manso. Paul Brooks, Scott Niemeyer, and Jeremy Plager are also on board as producers.
Champions: Release Date
Focus Features will release Champions on March 24, 2023.
Here is the trailer: