EXCLUSIVE: Ernie Hudson (Grace and Frankie, Ghostbusters: Afterlife) is the final addition to the cast of Champions, the recently-wrapped Special Olympics film that Bobby Farrelly (Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary) directed for Focus Features and Gold Circle Entertainment.
He’ll star alongside the previously announced Woody Harrelson, Kaitlin Olson, Cheech Marin and Matt Cook. Actors with intellectual disabilities rounding out the cast to ensure authenticity in the storytelling include Madison Tevlin, Joshua Felder, Kevin Iannucci, Ashton Gunning, Matthew Von Der Ahe, Tom Sinclair, James Day Keith, Alex Hintz, Casey Metcalfe, Bradley Edens and Champ Pederson.
Champions is based on the Goya Award winning Spanish film Campeones, which Universal Pictures International released in 2018. It centers on a stubborn and hotheaded minor league basketball coach who is forced to coach a Special Olympics team when he is sentenced to community service.
Mark Rizzo wrote the script. Paul Brooks, Scott Niemeyer and Jeremy Plager produced, with Harrelson, Brad Kessell, Alexander Jooss, Luis Manso, Alvaro Longoria and Javier Fesser exec producing, and Joe Toto and Carlen Johnson overseeing the project for Focus Features. Focus will distribute the film domestically, with Universal Pictures handling its international release.
Hudson is an award-winning actor boasting a nearly five-decade screen career who is perhaps best known for his roles as Winston Zeddemor in the Ghostbusters franchise, Sergeant Albrecht in The Crow, Warden Leo Glynn on HBO’s Oz and Jacob on Netflix’s Grace and Frankie. He recently appeared in Jason Reitman’s Columbia Pictures feature Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and exec produces and stars in the BET series The Family Business, based on the bestselling novel by Carl Weber. He will next be seen in the upcoming third season of Showtime’s City on a Hill and in the Catherine Hardwicke film Prisoner’s Daughter, opposite Brian Cox and Kate Beckinsale. Hudson has also appeared in films including Nappily Ever After, Miss Congeniality and its sequel Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous, and The Basketball Diaries, along with such series as L.A.’s Finest, Graves, Modern Family, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Desperate Housewives.
Hudson is represented by APA and Zero Gravity Management.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.