A SuperBowl ad for FanDuel is being reworked out of respect for the grieving family of a Disney star who died on Thursday.
Following the death of actor Carl Weathers, FanDuel had to make changes to an already-produced ad that was to run during Sunday’s SuperBowl match-up between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
FanDuel, the online sports gambling service, released a clip of the ad, which stars former NFL tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski and features a brief cameo of Carl Weathers, best known for his roles in the Rocky film franchise, Happy Gilmore, Toy Story 4, and The Mandalorian.
In a statement, FanDuel mourned the loss of Weathers, saying, “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Carl Weathers. Throughout his life, Carl was an iconic talent who had a profound impact on the people he worked with on and off the screen.”
FanDuel’s statement continued:
“FanDuel was fortunate to have had an opportunity to work with him during our Super Bowl campaign. We are adjusting our campaign accordingly out of respect for the family during their time of grief.”
In the ad, Gronkowski is seen walking through the desert toward Las Vegas. He’s on his way to set things right, following his missed “FanDuel Kick of Destiny” last year. Gronk laments the situation from last year, pointing out that he’s not a kicker, after all.
Then, out of the blue, Weathers rides up in a motorcycle with a sidecar attached to it and tells Gronk, “This time, you won’t miss” before the newly paired duo ride off into the sunset–or, the desert, as it were.
Weathers passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, February 1, per his family and his manager, Matt Luber, who announced the sad news in a statement:
“Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life,” Luber said. “Through his contributions to film, television, the arts, and sports, he has left an indelible mark and is recognized worldwide and across generations. He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, partner and friend.”
Weathers, a former NFL player, was best known for playing the role of Apollo Creed opposite Sylvester Stallone in the first four films in the Rocky franchise, as well as Chubbs Peterson in Happy Gilmore, the voice of Combat Carl in Toy Story 4 and a made-for-television Toy Story special, and the role of Greef Karga in The Mandalorian on Disney+.