Those involved with a new movie about lacrosse are hoping it will join people's shelves alongside "The Mighty Ducks" and other family sports classics. "Crooked Arrows" premieres next week with cast, crew, and inspiration from Native Americans, including the Six Nations. Our Kat De Maria introduces us to some of the players.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It's been touted as hopefully doing for lacrosse what "The Mighty Ducks" did for youth hockey or "Hoosiers" for college basketball.
"Crooked Arrows" stars Superman (Brandon Routh), and the guy from Twilight (Gil Birmingham), but also Cree Cathers...
"His name is Chewy Chewesaw. He's pretty much the funny guy. What's funny is everyone says I'm pretty much acting as myself," Cathers said.
...and Tyler Hill.
"He's a really good lacrosse player. But he's kind of a hothead. He's really into himself. He's like the T.O. of lacrosse, Terrell Owens, or Lebron James," said Hill, who plays Jimmy Silverfoot.
Ty, Cree and the other guys who make up the Crooked Arrows team are not actors, or at least, they weren't before last year.
"Some of my friends, I told, when I first came back. They were like, 'No, you weren't in a movie,'" Cathers said.
"To think that I'm in a movie is crazy. How could I be in a movie?" Hill said.
The guys were chosen, following casting calls near the Onondaga Nation south of Syracuse last year, for their lacrosse skill and their Iroquois heritage.
Neal Powless, a chief's son and lacrosse star himself, joined the production team: charged with making the story authentic by showing the native origins and culture of lacrosse, along with other aspects of life on the reservation.
"It changes stereotypes of what you understand about what a native person might live like or how it might look or the daily things they go through," Powless said.
Add in real, exciting lacrosse plays and the suspense of whether the Crooked Arrows will beat those pesky prep-school kids in the state championship, and the movie is a hit--everyone hopes.
Whether Cree lives out his dream to become "the Native American Chris Farley" remains to be seen. But either way, "Crooked Arrows" will take its place on the shelves as a sports family movie with a lot of heart and tradition.
"Crooked Arrows" premieres May 9th at the Crouse Hinds Theatre in the Oncenter. The movie opens at Carousel Center, ShoppingTown Mall, and theatres in Albany, Rochester and Buffalo on May 18th.