Matthew McConaughey, left, and Matthew Fox star in "We Are Marshall."
HUNTINGTON -- With the announcement of the Sept. 18, 2007 release date for the DVD of "We Are Marshall" from Warner Home Video, West Virginians will see the state and Marshall University receive attention for the story about one of the most tragic events and spirited recoveries in college sports history.
With featurettes about the state of West Virginia and Marshall University, Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures have provided the state with a unique opportunity to share good news about the university, economic development and travel in the Mountain State.
The single-disc DVD release comes nine months after the film opened in theaters across the country and will renew interest in the story of the way a university and a community grew after the November 1970 Marshall University football team, coaching staff and supporters died as the plane they were in attempted to land at Huntington's Tri-State Airport.
"The movie is not just about our loss, but about our strength and our ability to survive and grow from such a heart-wrenching experience," Gov. Joe Manchin said. "As governor, I am pleased that the state, the city of Huntington and Marshall University were able to be an integral part of the production and introduction of the film."
Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp said, "The upcoming release of the 'We Are Marshall' movie on DVD signals the next chapter in what has been an amazing experience for the Marshall community. Through the making of this inspirational film, people from across the United States have gained a greater awareness and affinity for Marshall University, the Huntington community and the State of West Virginia.
"We are already seeing this impact expressed through increased interest in our university, especially from prospective students and their families," Kopp continued. "We appreciate the creativity, hard work and commitment of McG, the film's director, and all of the talented people at Warner Bros. who succeed in telling our story, which has a timeless message, in a meaningful and compassionate manner."
The five-minute West Virginia featurette is made all the more special because it is narrated on camera by the three lead actors of "We Are Marshall" and because it is an auto play feature, which means it is the first thing viewers will see when the DVD begins playing. Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Fox and Oscar-nominee David Strathairn share their enthusiasm for the state with Gov. Manchin.
The DVD also includes "Marshall Today," a comprehensive look at the University since the events that are portrayed in the movie. The segment features well-known and highly successful Marshall alumni such as Bob Cosmai, former Hyundai America CEO; Verna K. Gibson, former President and CEO of the Limited Stores Division of The Limited Inc.; CNN correspondent Joe Johns; Broadway singer Mark McVey, Olympic silver medalist Lea Ann Parsley and New York Jets quarterback Chad Pennington. They reflect on how Marshall prepared them for life after college, and marvel at how the University has evolved since their time on campus.
The West Virginia Film Office along with Marshall University played important roles in the decision by Warner Bros. to film some of the most moving scenes in the film in Huntington, W. Va. Discussions between the state and the film company began in 2005 and filming took place in the spring of 2006. The historic Keith-Albee Theater in Huntington was the site of a gala hometown premier on Dec 12, with the national release on Dec. 22.
"We Are Marshall" will be available Sept. 18 on standard format in both widescreen and full frame formats and in HD DVD and Blu-ray versions.