‘King Richard,’ ‘Man in the Arena: Tom Brady,’ and More Underdog Stories Coming This Fall

Actor Will Smith portrays Venus and Serena Williams' father, pushing girls in shopping cart
'King Richard' biopic hits theaters and HBO Max this November. Courtesy Image

The latest trend in cinema and entertainment? Stories of the underdog. Here’s the latest crop hitting streaming platforms and the big screen in the coming months.

1. King Richard

A self-taught tennis player in Compton raises a daughter who becomes No.1 in the world, gobbling up Grand Slam titles while earning millions. And her little sister turns out to be better. Venus and Serena Williams have been superstars for so long it’s easy to forget how impossible their rise seemed, with their father daring to say he knew better than the tennis establishment and being proved correct. Indeed, Dad dared to say a lot of stuff, from calling one Venus opponent a “big, tall, white turkey” to telling an interviewer his favorite player was, er, Steffi Graf. (He added, “Venus and Serena would be my second and third.”) Richard has largely left the spotlight, but now he returns in the form of two-time Best Actor nominee Will Smith in the King Richard biopic.

Release: November (theatrical release and HBO Max)

2. American Underdog 

Kurt Warner took a typical path for an NFL quarterback: graduate college, go undrafted, don’t make an NFL roster, stock shelves at a supermarket, play in pro football mecca Amsterdam, finally start in the NFL at age 28 and immediately win the MVP and Super Bowl MVP. Now his life takes another surreal twist as Zachary Levi of Shazam! fame portrays him in a movie offering the six sweetest words in the English language: “Dennis Quaid as Coach Dick Vermeil.”

Release: December (Lionsgate)

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3. Man in the Arena: Tom Brady

Here’s how good Brady is: ESPN made a nine-episode documentary covering all of his Super Bowl appearances…and he immediately made it out of date by winning another title with Tampa Bay. (ESPN bills this as a look at Brady’s New England Super Bowls.) The 199th overall draft pick in 2000 beat the odds by becoming a starting QB. How unlikely has his career been? Brady has five Super Bowl MVPs; 22 franchises don’t have five Super Bowl appearances. Man in the Arena: Tom Brady will be a must-see this fall.

Release: November (ESPN+)

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