Concussion - Will Smith

Will Smith hasn’t been an Oscar contender for a few years now. The actor almost exclusively appears in big-budget movies these days, but every now and then, he’ll star in a drama. Like his upcoming picture Concussion, which premieres in the next few days at the American Film Institute. Before Peter Landesman‘s film makes its debut, a new trailer for the drama has been released.

Watch the trailer after the jump.

Based on Jeanne Marie LaskasGQ article “Game Brain,” Concussion is about the NFL trying to to cover up a chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) epidemic in the league, and one doctor’s (Smith) mission to uncover the truth.

Watch the new Concussion trailer:

The drama has already proved to be somewhat controversial. Showing this story on the big screen could lead to more negative press for the NFL, which the studio and filmmakers have been worried about. Attempts were made to soften the edges of the film, and after this news came out in the Sony hack, Peter Landesman came out to defend his movie.

This is not a movie that is intended to take down the NFL or destroy football. I love football. I played it, into two years of college. And our intent with reaching out to [Sports Illustrated writer] Peter [King, who launched the film’s trailer] was, this is a move that all audiences can watch, enjoy, learn from, but also be mesmerized by what I think is actually a ground-breaking performance, maybe the best performance Will Smith has ever given. And we were reaching out to America’s biggest sports institution to be inclusive. So this isn’t a take-down piece. That being said, Peter King, who is, as you said, the insider of insiders, the fact that he’s embraced this movie, loved it, was eager to write about, was eager to be the one to introduce it to the world, I think that says an enormous amount.

Once the film premieres and comes out next month, we’ll probably see some passionate discussions regarding what’s true and what isn’t, and whether this true story got the sugarcoated. Landesman also wrote Kill the Messenger, a movie that never feels like it’s pulling its punches to please somebody. Let’s hope Concussion, like Kill the Messenger, is an authentic depiction of what happened.

And if it’s not, at least we get to watch Alec BaldwinAlbert BrooksLuke WilsonDavid MorsePaul Resier, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw act together. It can’t be easy to make an unwatchable movie with a cast of this caliber.

Concussion opens in theaters December 25th.

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