'Soul Surfer' trailer: Big waves, a shark attack, and Carrie Underwood's movie debut -- EXCLUSIVE

The new trailer for Soul Surfer — which EW is debuting exclusively — starts off like so many other sun-drenched surfing films: Lots of big waves, cute boys, upbeat soft rock, and a spunky teenager named Bethany Hamilton (AnnaSophia Robb, Bridge to Terebithia) with a gift for riding the monster Hawaiian surf. But anyone familiar with Bethany’s true story knows what comes next: A shark takes a liking to her left arm, derailing her promising surfing career before it really had a chance to begin. The trailer also features co-stars Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid as Bethany’s parents, and country star Carrie Underwood in her feature film debut as a church youth group leader. But I’m most impressed with how boldly the trailer showcases Bethany’s missing arm — and the impressive visual-effects that made it seem like Robb went Method and had it removed for the role. Check out the trailer below: 

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  • gb

    OMG! i cant wait…i hope carrie perform very well

    • Strepsi

      She’s a great singer, but for this acting job they gave Carrie a part commensurate with her acting ability.

      She plays the arm.

      • Lionel S.

        yeah right. Carrie has a small but important role in the movie. You have no idea if she can act or not hater, so stop making assumptions. Carrie got good reviews for her role on How I Met Your Mother.

      • Allison

        Strepso– you have no idea if Carrie can act or not, so why trash her before you even saw the movie? The people who saw advanced screenings of the film are giving Carrie great reviews for her acting so far. Just check twitter.

      • Fredddd

        An Obama fan aren’tcha?

      • Terri

        what a pig.

      • Luca

        You’re just jealous cause even as ‘the arm’ she is 1000 times a better actor than you are.

        And I don’t need to actually see you act to know that you suck that much

      • jd

        Mean people suck. get a life @strepsi…

      • Mackenzie

        sorry about your attack bethany
        your a good sufrer:)

    • Bobby

      Carrie is so beautiful. I saw her act on How I Met Your Mother, and she was smokin’ hot. I thought she did a decent job acting too. She was funny. Can’t wait for this film. Anna Sophia Robb is very talented and she seems to have nailed her role.

    • lisa

      What, she was born in Hawaii! All birthers know Hawaii is not an American state! Make her produce her birth certificate; oh wait, even that wasn’t enough proof for the birthers regarding the president of the United States!!

  • chantal

    I can’t see Carrie Underwood as a good actress.

    • michael

      Carrie got very good reviews for her acting as a guest star on How I Met Your Mother, and she was nominated for a Peoples Choice award for it. She is getting very good reviews so far from the advance screeings on this movie. Carrie will surprise you. She is very talented.

      • Allison

        Carrie seems like a nice enough girl, but I wouldn’t use the People’s Choice Awards as a measure of talent.

    • Jim in Colorado

      Maybe a pair of glasses would help?

    • Kevin

      watch the video for Temporary Home. Shes a damn good crier.

  • Rhi

    I’ve been looking forward to this movie since I first heard about it. I love Dennis Quaid in fatherly mode and AnnaSophia Robb is quite the young actress. After watching the trailer I definitely want to see it. I agree that the visual effects look great.

    • adj

      Yeah, the effects look great…I agree…

  • Anna

    I think she should stick to singing. She is a terrible actress in that Olay commercial.

    • michael

      Carrie did great on the Olay commercial, and on the How I Met your mother episode she guest starred on. You are just a hter. How does one “act” on an Olay commercial, anyway? Spare me. You basically8 stand there and splash water on your face, so for you to judge her acting on a commercial that you don’t really “act” on anyway, so harshly, is a real stretch.

      • emma

        Are you being paid to cheerlead her?

      • Ryan

        are you being paid to mock her?

      • leslie

        Are you being paid to defend her?

      • Sara

        If y’all are getting paid I want to get in on this.

      • Justin

        Am I being paid to comment pointlessly on a pointless thread?…Well, uhh…no.

      • mif

        I don’t like her, she seems like a total bia

      • Jim in Colorado

        I think she’s totally hot….and a sweetheart as well! I watched her host one of the awards shows late last year…and I thought she did a great job! I can’t stand country music….but with hotties like Carrie, Shania, Faith and others….I just turn down the volume and enjoy the view! I’d do them all….in any order whatsoever! Mmmmmmmm!!!

      • Lionel S.

        Grow Up people. Carrie’s fans have a right to defend her. You would be doing the same thing for your favorite artists or actors, so don’t even try to say otherwise. And you would do it for free, as we are.

      • Opinionated

        Sara, hilarious comment!

    • jd

      Who made you the righteous judge you think you are?

    • art rojas

      like ALL NEW ACTORS it take time carrie is a good person

  • MikeA

    It looks really good, but I have to admit that I hate these kinds of trailers where they basically show you the whole movie in abbreviated form. Okay, I already know based on the trailer, she was a promising surfer, she loss her arm, she got depressed, she got inspired by the people she inspired, and she triumphed by returning to surfing. Who needs to see the movie anymore?

    • Andrew

      Does that mean you have never watched any movie based on a true story: The Rookie, Miracle, The Blind Side, The Alamo, etc.? You know how all those turn out.

      • Anthony G

        Not ot mention Titanic, where we all knew the boat sank….OH, Shoot! Spoilers!!!!

      • Ray

        Just saw the movie at a pre release screening and I must admit, the trailer does it injustice. There is MUCH more to the film than the trailer shows. Don’t let it disappoint you.

    • Hi

      @MikeA, dude it’s a true story…we all knew the story already! True stories kinda work that way…it happens in real life THEN they make a movie out of it.

      Why see Schindler’s List, Ali, Secretariat or any other true story for that matter…I mean, since you already know what happened.

    • Marlene

      One reason to see this movie is to show Hollywood that movies don’t need to be full of vulgarity and sexual situations in order to draw customers. I see as many of these films as possible because I’m sick of the garbage Hollywood puts out.

      • Ronnie1

        Hope I don’t jinx it, but at least it’s NOT in 3-D…just like it seems EVERY freakin’ movie is now…

    • brian

      TITANIC – did you not know the ship was going to sink!!

      • Nikki

        lol! good one Brian.

    • Luca

      We already know the story cause it is based on real events. So who cares if the trailer spoils the ending that we already know.

    • Dexter

      Ummm… its a true story thats pretty popular, sooooo… you can just google her and find out what happens.

    • Sandy

      Since it is a true story, everyone knows what happens. That doesn’t mean that the movie can’t be good!

  • Andrew

    It’s the dude from Renegade!


    Underwood showing emotion? If it happens, we may have found the 8th world wonder!

    • adj

      Some people just aren’t emotional…

      • REASON

        Yeah, robots

      • Joanne Whitmore

        Carrie has improved a ton since American Idol. She has won Entertainer of the Year twice, and got really good reviews for her Play On tour. You are judging her for how she used to be shy and a little stiff on Idol, but she is not that person anymore. She has worked hard and is now a very strong live entertainer, showing tons of emotion. I have been to over 50 concerts in my day, and I haven’t enjoyed any as much as Carrie Underwood’s tour, except for maybe U2 or Bon Jovi. But Carrie was amazing and can hold her own live.

    • Alex

      spare me hater. Carrie has come a LONG way from her shy stiff days on American Idol. She is a fantastic live entertainer now, and got rave reviews from critics for her last major tour in 2010. They all noted how much she improved as a live performer, including stage presence and emotion. So go back to 2005- when that nasty remark actually applied to her.

      • kev

        Carrie Underwood’s publicist

      • riley

        Please. Carrie has lots of fans. No need to hate. She is a nice person.

    • nancy

      lol @ reason! The girl who just auditioned for AI with “Temporary Home” sang it with more emotion and Carrie ever has. Carrie should stick to chicks rule anthems because she doesn’t have the heft to back up her vocals on more serious songs, especially when performing live.

      • jerandjan

        Carrie isn’t a ‘chicks rule’ kind of singer. Have you even listened to her? Is this why she is the most successful AI contestant ever? Is this why she is the only female ever(that’s ‘EVER’)to win ACM’s ETOY award 2 years in a row and is possibly set to take a third??

      • @jerandjan

        the ACM??? Which one of the five country awards shows is that? ;)

      • Melissa

        I’m sorry, but have you actually HEARD her perform TH? I’ve heard it live several times, and it never fails to bring me to tears. I think everyone needs to stop jumping to judgements and watch the damn movie first.

      • mileyrules

        Get real. Carrie is a 5x Grammy winner, and one of the best vocalists out there right now. Don’t even try to bash her singing.. If you want to bash a terrible singer, go to Taylor Swift’s boards. She can’t sing her way out of a paper bag.

      • Joanne Whitmore

        Nancy- you are full of baloney. You have never even seen Carrie sing live, so don’t even pretend you have. Carrie got rave reviews for her last tour in 2010, from all the critics, and is one of the best live singers period. Taylor Swift, on the other hand, sounds like a cat jumping off the Empire State building live. Carrie is a 5 time grammy winner for a reason: She is an incredible vocalist, especially live. You are just a hater. I have seen her live several times, and she is better live then on the cd.

      • JAKE

        I love how everyone who isn’t drinking the Underwood kool-aid is a “hater.” I don’t think anyone is saying she is a bad singer, just not an emotional one, and I can agree with that. As for her acting ability, she did a pretty good job of being a dbag on HIMYM….

      • LOL


      • Nikki

        @Nancy – Yeah, you criticize her vocals, then how come you’re not the Grammy winner? I wonder if you can sing even just a simple, and not so serious song. :p

      • Dan

        Had to take the time to say you are an idiot. You probably live in a basement and are a complete failure. Sad but true.

      • owen davies

        all due respect you saying she didnt sing it with emotion was you actually watching it or not. she looked as if she was goin to cry and you want emotion watch how art thou she sung that beautifully and im an actor i know what emotion is cos i have to show it everyday she showed it brilliantly

  • bethany

    Ah, This is so exciting! I am so excited for this you have no idea. Carrie looks AMAZING as always & she looks like she really filled in her role nicely. She is awesome & I am so happy that I can go & support this movie in April!

  • Sasquan

    Carrie’s a tremendous singer and from the looks of it could very well be a promising actress as well. Can’t wait to see this, AnnaSophia Robb was great in Escape to Witch Mountain and am sure she will be terrific here as well.

  • ziggy

    This looks really good. I can’t believe this girl kept surfing after the shark attack. I’d be paralyzed with fear after a trauma like that. Amazing story. (Is it just me or does Helen Hunt look a bit gaunt and unhealthy?)

    • Uh No

      It’s just you. Helen looks amazing.

    • jerandjan

      She looks Amazing…years pass, you know!

    • Jim in Colorado

      I saw an interview with her the other day…plugging this movie…and she looked terrible! I agree with you Ziggy! I said the same thing to myself….days before I read your post. It’s hard to say if she’s sick….but at the very least she is not aging well! She’s not that attractive anyway. They did make her look okay in the scenes I saw from the movie! She just didn’t look very good in the interview at all!

  • ziggy

    oh, and brilliant choice of using Perry’s “Firework” in the trailer to attract more teenagers to the film!

  • Anna

    I love Carrie and Anna Sophia Robb! It looks really good so far! Can’t wait to see it!

  • Kiki

    I was just wondering yesterday where Helen Hunt had been.

    • Elizabeth

      Me too! She seemed to have disapeared after Twister.

      • Ally

        What Women Want..although that was still a long time ago

      • KMcT

        You don’t remember a little flick called “As Good As It Gets” or how about “Castaway?” I think the biggest recent one was “Bobby” back in 2006. True, it’s been a while, but not 15 years long!

  • m1

    This could be interesting. Looking forward to it!

  • Dan

    This movie looks amazing. They have a wide variety of stars, and I like every single one of them. I can’t wait to see Carrie’s debut movie performance!

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