Warner Bros. Pictures has released a new trailer for the upcoming Ben Affleck sports drama “The Way Back," highlighting the themes of hope, second chances and redemption.
From “The Accountant” director Gavin O’Connor, the movie tells the story of a troubled high school basketball coach (Affleck), who battles addiction and grief while also attempting to inspire and motivate his struggling team.
Reads the official film synopsis: “Jack Cunningham once had a life filled with promise. In high school, he was a basketball phenom with a full university scholarship, when suddenly, for reasons unknown, he walked away from the game, forfeiting his future. Now years later, Jack is spiraling down, triggered by an unspeakable loss, and drowning in the alcoholism that cost him his marriage and any hope for a better life.”
“When he is asked to coach the basketball team at his alma mater, which has fallen far since his glory days, he reluctantly accepts, surprising no one more than himself. As the boys start to come together as a team and win, Jack may have finally found a reason to confront the demons that have derailed him. But will it be enough to fill the void, heal the deep wounds of his past, and set him on the road to redemption?”
Hitting theaters on March 6, “The Way Back” also stars Al Madrigal ("Night School"), Michaela Watkins ("Casual"), Janina Gavankar ("True Blood"), and Glynn Turman ("Bumblebee").
The new trailer begins with Jack walking on a basketball court. A young player says to him, “You know what my dad told me last night? He said you got a full ride to Kansas and you just quit. Why?”
Jack responds, “My father didn't like me very much. And someone told him I was good at basketball, he paid a lot more attention to me. And I realized it wasn't me he love, it was what I could do.”
Later, Jack is shown sipping beer in a bar: “I spent a lot of time hurting myself, trying hurting my father. I never picked up another basketball again,” he says.
But the trailer takes a redemptive turn, as Jack declares, “I have a feeling this team is not as bad as its record. We have to trust each other.”
“We have to have faith,” one of the student-athletes replies.
The trailer ends with Jack inspiring his young team: “They don't know adversity. They don't know what it’s like to get knocked down and to have to get back up again,” he states during a team huddle. “They don't know what it is to fight.”
Affleck himself has been open about his struggles with sobriety. After battling alcoholism since he began drinking at 15 years old, the actor got sober in his mid-20s. He relapsed and sought treatment in 2017 and again in 2018 after another relapse and intervention.
"Battling any addiction is a lifelong and difficult struggle," he admitted in an Instagram post at the time. "Because of that, one is never really in or out of treatment. It is a full-time commitment. I am fighting for myself and my family."
The California native and actress Jennifer Garner were wed in 2005 but announced their separation in a joint statement in 2015. In April, they filed for divorce. Despite their separation, Affleck has been in the past spotted going to church with Garner and their children from time-to-time.
Watch the trailer for “The Way Back” below. The film is rated R for strong language.