Even if you’re not particularly a sports fan, you’ve likely heard about the ongoing controversy over head injuries in the NFL. This winter, a new movie dramatizes that fight. Will Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic neuropathologist who discovers the first case of CTE in a pro football player. He tries to alert the public to his findings, but the NFL denies his conclusions and stymies his efforts at every turn. Watch the Concussion trailer after the jump.
Sportswriter Peter King debuted the Concussion trailer on The MMBQ.
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) August 31, 2015
In an accompanying interview with King, director Peter Landesman explained why he’d made the movie.
I gravitate towards stories of David versus Goliath, the small man versus the machine. Whether it is Bennet Omalu or Gary Webb, a reporter who discovered the cocaine trafficking with the CIA and was destroyed by the Washington Post and the CIA and others. In my writing career as a journalist, it was little man against the machine so I think I am just hard-wired for that narrative. When I heard about Bennet Omalu, I recognized that the story operated on a number of levels that made it completely unique. As an immigrant coming to America, who discovers a dangerous detail about the most American of things, America’s sacred cow, who then is forced to tell America about itself as a disaffected Nigerian, it was an extraordinary opportunity to explore what it is to be an American. And it was a gorgeous way to understand what it is to be a citizen of this nation. And then there was the sports element. I played football for two years in college, I love the game, I am an athlete, I love sports and I watch football. I went to Brown, the powerhouse. I thought this was another way to un-peel the layers away from the theater of it and the pageantry of it to get to the humanity of it.
While Concussion has yet to debut anywhere, our own Peter Sciretta caught some footage from it at CinemaCon earlier this year, and seemed intrigued by Smith’s transformative, emotional performance. You can see his reaction here (the Concussion part starts at 1:11).
Based on the 2009 GQ article Game Brain by Jeanne Marie Laskas, Concussion arrives in theaters December 25. Alec Baldwin, Luke Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Albert Brooks also star. Ridley Scott produced.Cool Posts From Around the Web: