Six years ago, Jeanne Marie Laskas’ GQ exposé Game Brain flew in the face of tradition when it drew a line under the health concerns of playing in the über-popular NFL league. Shedding light on the research of the brilliant, yet rather odd Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian caused all manner of controversy when he connected the rise in CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) cases with the strenuous nature of the sport.
Eager to raise awareness to the public, the forensic neuropathologist faced an uphill battle from the very beginning, with the powerful players of the National Football League – off the pitch, that is – rubbishing his breakthrough research. In what went down as a defining moment in the NFL’s history will soon underpin Sony Pictures’ awards hopeful, Concussion.
Assuming the role of Omalu is Suicide Squad alum Will Smith. Sporting his very best Nigerian accent, today’s new footage offers up a better look at his portrayal of the central character, including various personality quirks along with his habit of talking to dead bodies. Setting that aside for the time being, if there’s one actor who has the ability to inject infectious charisma into his roles, it’s Smith, and we’re holding out hope that Concussion proves to be more than the sum of its parts.
Opening on Christmas Day, Landesman will pit Will Smith against the NFL with Concussion, but can it attract the attention of the Academy? Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Albert Brooks, Luke Wilson, Paul Reiser and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje complete the cast, and Peter Landesman is behind the lens.
Will Smith stars in Concussion, a dramatic thriller based on the incredible true David vs. Goliath story of American immigrant Dr. Bennet Omalu, the brilliant forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of CTE, a football-related brain trauma, in a pro player and fought for the truth to be known. Omalu’s emotional quest puts him at dangerous odds with one of the most powerful – and beloved – institutions in the world.