Ernie Hudson cast in Bobby Farrelly’s Special Olympics


Ernie Hudson is the latest addition to Bobby Farrellyit is Champions, a film about a Special Olympics team that features a cast of actors with developmental disabilities. As Deadline reports, the film is a Hollywood adaptation of the Goya Award-winning Spanish film. Campeoneswhich follows an arrogant basketball coach who begins to reevaluate his life once he is forced to lead a team with an intellectual disability as a community service.

The original Spanish film was inspired by the real-life Special Olympics team Aderes, from Valencia, who won twelve Spanish championships between 1999 and 2014. Directed by Javier Fesser from a script he wrote with David Marks, Campeones became a hit at the Spanish box office, winning numerous awards and nominations, including the Goya Award for Best Film, Best New Actor (Jesus Vidal) and Best Original Song. Due to the popularity of the film, Campeones was even selected as the Spanish entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards of 2019, but was never nominated. So it’s no wonder the movie is getting a Hollywood release.


Although there is still little information about Champions, the Hollywood adaptation is set to follow the same story beats, with a grumpy coach learning to respect people with intellectual disabilities. And you know what? That’s absolutely fine! We all need wellness stories from time to time, and if they help empower groups that still suffer from social exclusion, even better.

ernie hudson
Picture via IMDb

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Hudson is a Hollywood legend with nearly five decades of success behind his back. The actor is remembered as one of the original Ghostbusters and recently appeared for the franchise’s latest sequel, Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Hudson also offers fan-favorite Netflix roles Grace and Frankieand helped shoot films such as congo and Miss Conviviality in the classics.

Hudson will join a cast that already includes stars Woody Harrelson, Kaitlin Olson, Cheech Marinand Matt Cook. The cast of actors with intellectual disabilities featured in the film include madison tevlin, Joshua Felder, Kevin Iannucci, Ashton Gunning, Matthew Von Der Ahe, Tom Sinclair, James Day Keith, Alex Hitz, Casey Metcalfe, Bradley Edenand Pederson Field.

Farrelly is directing from a screenplay by Marc Rizzo. Champions is produced by Paul Brooks, Scott Niemeyerand Jeremy Beachwith Harrelson, Brad Kessell, Alexandre Jooss, Luis Manso, Alvaro Longoria, and executive producer Fesser. Focus function Joe Toto and Carlen Johnson oversee the project, with the company distributing the film nationally.

No publish window is defined for Champions.

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