With director Charles Stone III at the helm, ‘The Underdoggs’ introduces us to Jaycen Jennings (Snoop Dogg), a star football player whose haughtiness brings about his swift fall from grace. After a car accident, he is sentenced to community service to coach his high school’s unruly football team, the Underdoggs. His reluctance turns into an ignited love for his sport when he sees himself in the untamed players of the team, and together with old friends, works on directing them towards the path of champions.
The comedic sports film takes us to Jaycen’s home neighborhood of Long Beach as he reconnects with his former teammates, an old flame and young blood of the football team. With many lighthearted moments, the film navigates the themes of sportsmanship, teamwork, and humility, with a message of giving back to the community. ‘The Underdoggs’ revolves around a nostalgic locale of Long Beach, sparking curiosity regarding its real-life filming location.
The Underdoggs Filming Locations
‘The Underdoggs’ was filmed in and around Atlanta, Georgia. Principal photography began in September 2022 and was wrapped up in November of the same year. The filming locations depicted in the movie are connected to Snoop Dogg’s early life of playing in the league, and while Long Beach is seen in cinematic establishing shots, the neighborhood is recreated using sites in midtown Atlanta. Let us take a closer look at the shooting locations used to create the environments seen in the film.
A number of scenes for the sports movie were lensed around sets in the Georgian capital of Atlanta. Various locales, particularly around midtown Atlanta, stood in for neighborhoods of Long Beach, California. Atlanta seamlessly blends modern urban landscapes with historic charm, providing a diverse canvas that can mimic other locations within its diverse cityscape. Jaycen’s swanky mansion, seen at the beginning of the film, is actually the Mediterranean Atlanta Mansion situated in Sandy Springs at 720 Heards Ferry Road Northwest.
Both interior and exterior scenes were shot at the 25,000 sq ft Atlanta mansion. The luxury villa usually serves as a party venue, and also features in films and music videos. Interestingly, it has ties to football events as well, with the NY Giants football team hosting their Superbowl party at the mansion. Situated in northern Fulton County, it falls under the suburb of Sandy Springs, which features picturesque residential areas adorned with tree-lined streets and charming homes. This suburban landscape adds an affluent character to the initial sequences of the film, providing a contrast with the later parts, which involve Jaycen getting back in touch with his roots.
Atlanta’s northern suburb of Dunwoody features prominently in the movie, depicting many locations of Long Beach. Dunwoody boasts extensive green spaces, which were combined with its urban bustle to create the nostalgic environments seen in the film. On the flip side, Dunwoody’s modern urban scene is characterized by upscale shopping districts, contemporary architecture, and vibrant commercial areas.
With such versatility, Dunwoody became a primary filming location for ‘The Underdoggs,’ playing the part of multiple backdrops throughout its run-time. Atlanta’s versatile cityscape and thriving filming infrastructure, along with Georgia’s tax credits for filming there, have attracted several sports films to produce within its metropolitan area. These include ‘Remember the Titans,’ ‘American Underdog,’ ‘The Blind Side,’ ‘Million Dollar Arm,’ and ‘Ford v Ferrari.’
Long Beach, California
The city of Long Beach in Los Angeles County is the projected setting for much of the film, and establishing shots of its locations are featured throughout the movie. When Jaycen is driving to the football field after being assigned community service, we can spot the Long Beach letters, which are seen along the Interstate 710 freeway. Similar landmarks of the city are visible in cinematic shots interspersed in the movie.
.The Long Beach Polytechnic High School holds a special place in Snoop Dogg’s heart and is partly attributed to the film’s creation. In an interview, the rapper said, “That’s one school that understands tradition, so to put that in this movie showed that my tradition will always be upheld and kept close to my heart because that’s the school that I went to, my mother went to, my whole family, it’s generational.” Located at 1600 Atlantic Avenue, the institution is known as a home of scholars and champions, educating personalities like John Wayne, Jack Jones, Billie Jean King, Cameron Diaz, and Carl Weathers, among many others.
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