Woody Harrelson Stars as a Disgraced Minor League Basketball Coach in Focus Features’ Champions’ Trailer


The trailer for Focus Features’ uplifting sports picture Champions, a story of basketball and redemption starring Woody Harrelson as a disgraced minor league basketball coach, has been released. He’s left coaching a team of mentally handicapped basketball players as part of his community service after getting fired from his job and making several other mistakes.

Despite his initial reservations about the team, he understands how far he can push them. The teaser teases an emotional and entertaining story that follows the team to the Special Olympics.

After another bad game, a fight with another coach (Ernie Hudson) on the court, and an embarrassing appearance on SportsCenter, Marcus Marakovich (Harrelson) is at his lowest point until he hits a police car. He gets off easy in court because he only has to do community service, but he isn’t very nice to his new team.

At first, he doesn’t think they can be trained, and he has a hard time not calling them a certain “boo-boo word” that starts with “r.” But as he works with them, he gets to know them better and finally learns how to make friends. He gets along with Alex, the sister of one of his players. Alex is played by Kaitlin Olson.

He and his team get close to the regional tournament, which gives him a way back to the NBA. However, he is only concerned with making sure his team wins and has fun along the way.

Champions are only one of several projects in the works for Academy Award nominee Harrelson. He’ll next be seen in the miniseries The White House Plumbers in 2023, and he’s also in post-production on Laura Chinn’s debut feature Suncoast. He, Olson, and Hudson are among the cast members, who also include Cheech Marin, Matt Cook, and Madison Tevlin.

This time, Bobby Farrelly directed Champions without his brother and co-producer, Peter Farrelly. Together, they made a number of popular comedies, such as Dumb & Dumber, There’s Something About Mary, and Me, Myself, and Irene.

Farrelly and Harrelson have worked together before on the 1996 bowling comedy Kingpin, in which Harrelson played the lead role. Mark Rizzo wrote the script. This is his first full-length film since the TV movie Zip in 2008.

Harrelson has been doing more producing lately, like with The Freak Brothers and the soon-to-be-released The White House Plumbers, and he’ll do it again here in addition to starring. He works with Brad Kessell, Alexander Jooss, lvaro Longoria, Javier Fesser, and Luis Manso as an executive producer. Paul Brooks, Scott Niemeyer, and Jeremy Plager are also working as producers.

Champions will come out on March 24, 2023, from Focus Features. Watch the trailer down below.

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