“MVP,” the directorial debut of U.S. Army Green Beret veteran and former NFL player Nate Boyer, will premiere in theaters on Sept. 14. The film’s debut via FilmRise is accompanied by a fundraising campaign from the GNC Live Well Foundation for Boyer’s nonprofit organization, Merging Vets & Players, after which the film is named.
Executive produced by Sylvester Stallone, “MVP” is based on the true story of the formation of Merging Vets & Players, which Boyer co-founded with Jay Glazer with the aim of empowering and connecting combat veterans and former professional athletes, providing them with a new team to assist with transition to civilian life and promote personal development.
More from Variety
The film takes place on the streets of Hollywood and centers on the growing friendship between a struggling recently retired NFL player (Mo McRae) and a homeless veteran suffering from PTSD (Boyer). With their “glory days” behind them, the two men bond in search of real purpose and identity. Talia Jackson, Christina Ochoa and Dina Shihabi also star, with appearances from Tom Arnold, Rich Eisen, Dan Lauria, Randy Couture, Tony Gonzalez, Howie Long, Jarrod Bunch and Michael Strahan.
“MVP” will premiere in 35 cities, including every NFL market, with a theatrical on demand event via Gathr Films to kick off the in-theater fundraising campaign. The campaign encourages U.S. audiences to sign up to host a screening of “MVP” in their community and raise money for Merging Vets & Players. Additional screenings will take place throughout fall 2022 at major and independent theaters throughout the country, many of which will feature live appearances by Boyer and special guests including NFL players and local veterans. The GNC Live Well Foundation is the national sponsor and will support the film throughout the 2022-23 NFL season. Some screenings will take place in partnership with NFL teams including the Dallas Cowboys and the Seattle Seahawks.
“MVP” also features the original song “Work4It” written and performed by Wiz Khalifa. Balboa Production partners Stallone and Braden Aftergood executive produce alongside Jerry C. Craig, Glazer, McRae, Joe Newcomb, and Shanna and Rob Schanen. Charles Berg, Boyer, Nicholas Gibeault, Weston Scott Higgins, and Jared Hoffman are producers.
“Merging Vets & Players has had such a profound impact on my life, as well as the lives of so many of our brothers and sisters who either fought for freedom or gave their all on the field of play,” said Boyer. “We set out to capture the story of MVP on screen. Like the two main characters in the film, many of us battle with personal struggles and are searching for that purpose, identity, and a community where we feel like we belong. “We hope that the release of this film elevates that conversation with audiences everywhere, helping both veterans and former athletes understand that no matter what, we got your back!”
“‘MVP’ highlights the very real struggles combat veterans and retiring professional athletes face transitioning into everyday life,” added Josh Burris, who serves as GNC CEO, a GNC Live Well Foundation executive committee member and a Merging Vets & Players board member. “We’re committed to supporting the military community and working with FilmRise and their distribution partners to share this important film with a national audience is part of that dedication. We’re proud to be affiliated with Merging Vets & Players and supporting the work Nate, Jay and the team does to make a difference.”
Additional information is available at vetsandplayers.org. See a poster for the film below.
Best of Variety