Champions: release date, trailer, cast, plot and everything we know about the Woody Harrelson film

Cheech Marin as Julio and Woody Harrelson as Marcus smiling outside in Champions
Cheech Marin and Woody Harrelson, Champions (Image credit: Focus Features)

Woody Harrelson is back on the big screen in the new comedy Champions. Just one of the 2023 movies due to release, the film sees the Emmy-winning actor play a disgruntled and hotheaded minor league basketball coach who has been assigned the new task of coaching a Special Olympics team. 

In the beginning he’s reluctant to take on the position because it’s court-mandated community service, things change as he gets to know the members of his basketball squad. 

So what else can would-be viewers expect from the movie? Here’s everything we know about Champions.  

Champions release date

Champions premieres exclusively in theaters in the US and the UK on Friday, March 10.  

Champions trailer

Check out the trailer for Champions. From the onset, it looks like the movie has plenty of comedic zingers in store. 

Champions plot

Here is the plot of the movie as described by the production company Focus Features: 

"Woody Harrelson stars in the hilarious and heartwarming story of a former minor-league basketball coach who, after a series of missteps, is ordered by the court to manage a team of players with intellectual disabilities. He soon realizes that despite his doubts, together, this team can go further than they ever imagined. 

"Champions is based on the Goya Award-winning Spanish film Campeones from 2018, which was released by Universal Pictures International."

Champions cast

Woody Harrelson leads the Champions cast as the basketball coach named Marcus. Many came to know Harrelson for his Emmy-winning role as Woody Boyd in Cheers. Since then, he has gone on to appear in projects like The People vs. Larry Flynt, True Detective, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and more recently, The Man from Toronto

Also in the film are actors Kaitlin Olson, Cheech Marin and Matt Cook. Olson is most recognized for her role in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Marin gained a lot of notoriety for his part in Born in East L.A. and Cook was spotted in The Greatest Beer Run Ever

On a special note, more than 10 actors with intellectual disabilities are in the cast to authentically tell this story. This includes 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 director

Bobby Farrelly served as the director of the film. He’s also directed other comedic movies like Dumb and Dumber To, The Three Stooges, Hall Pass and Fever Pitch.  

Champions key art

Champions (Image credit: Focus Features)
Terrell Smith

Terrell Smith has a diverse writing background having penned material for a wide array of clients including the federal government and Bravo television personalities.  When he’s not writing as Terrell, he’s writing under his pseudonym Tavion Scott, creating scripts for his audio drama podcasts. Terrell is a huge fan of great storytelling when it comes to television and film. Some of his favorite shows include The CrownWandaVision, Abbot Elementary and Godfather of HarlemAnd a fun fact is he's completely dialed into the TLC 90 Day Fiancé universe.