Hanging up Floyd Lawton’s sniper rifle and ice-white mask for the time being, Will Smith will swap the superhero scene this holiday season for Sony Pictures’ NFL drama, Concussion, which today revealed its first trailer.
Directed by Peter Landesman, the Oscar hopeful will have Smith assume the role of Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian doctor who unearths the association between CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) and the physically intensive nature of the NFL – smashing heads against each other is bad for you, who knew? Despite his groundbreaking research and conclusive findings, Smith’s protagonist is widely dismissed by the sport’s suits in fear that any bad press could tarnish their beloved, if dangerous, game.
Taking inspiration from Omalu’s inspiring true story, there’s certainly reason to be hopeful for Concussion, though this maiden trailer fails to have us on tenterhooks. That’s not to write off Landesman’s feature, though Smith will have to earn the suspension of disbelief if audiences are to warm to his portrayal of a Nigeria-born forensic neuropathologist – granted, a two minute sizzle reel isn’t nearly enough to offer a verdict on that accent.
Alec Baldwin, Luke Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Arliss Howard, Paul Reiser, David Morse and Albert Brooks complete the cast. Concussion will take aim at Oscar glory when it launches in theaters on December 25.
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.