Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje has joined Will Smith and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in the yet-to-be titled drama on concussions in the NFL,
which is based on the GQ article “Game Brain,” written by Jeanne
Marie Laskas, and which follows Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic
neuropathologist, who single-handedly made the first discovery of CTE
(Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) in a pro football player, raising
public awareness for the degenerative disease.
article tells a whistle-blower tale, humanizing the price paid by
professional athletes in impact sports, and the political, cultural and
corporate interests that fuel the business of professional sports.
Scott’s Scott Free production shingle and Sony Pictures are backing the
project, which will of course star Will Smith as Dr. Omalu, under the
direction of Peter Landesman, who will also pen script.
Akinnuoye-Agbaje will play real-life NFL safety Dave Duerson, who died in 2011 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, and whose brain was sent to researchers, when it was determined
that the pro-bowler had suffered from (CTE) caused by his football injuries.
Alec Baldwin, Bitsie Tulloch, and Albert Brooks also star in the film.
project joins other upcoming films on CTE in development, including
“Game Time Decision” – Matthew Cherry’s drama which attracted the acting talents of Isaiah
Washington, who will star as a retired football player suffering from
the effects of concussions sustained during his professional career, as
he tries to reconnect with his estranged family, notably a son following
in his father’s footsteps, in danger of a similar kind of future.
goal of each film is to highlight Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy,
which is common in individuals with a history of multiple concussions
and other forms of head injury; an affliction suffered by dozens of
deceased former players, like Junior Seau.
has eluded Will Smith, despite 2 nominations within a 5-year period.
Playing what will likely be a meaty role in Dr Omalu, in what will also
probably be a weighty, dramatic, hopefully finely-crafted Scott
Free-produced project, tackling a very topical subject, just might mean a