Even if you are not a football fan, you probably have heard the name Roger Goodell quite a bit in the past month or so. He’s the current NFL Commissioner and was at the center of the Ray Rice domestic violence debacle. Though he’s been roundly criticized, if not condemned, for his handling of that case, this is not the first time he’s been in hot water: he was also a major force in the NFL concussion debate. Now he’s getting his own Hollywood avatar in the form of Luke Wilson, with the actor in talks to play Goodell in an as-yet untitled film about traumatic brain injuries in our most American of sports.
Wilson joins the film with co-star Will Smith, who is signed on to play Dr. Bennet Omalu, who exposed the link between chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and football head injuries. He fueled public discussion of the trauma and injuries, often needless, that go along with professional sports, and the dangers these sorts of injuries pose to players and their families. With all the money and power wrapped up in professional football, Omalu’s work cast yet another pall over the sport – and his findings are still being discussed.
This part is something of a shift for Luke Wilson, best known for his “nice guy” comedic roles rather than for his dramatic chops. Perhaps this will be a chance for him to expand his repertoire.
It’s early days yet on the film, which is being directed by Peter Landesman (Parkland), but we’ll definitely let you know about future casting and production details as they become available.