The narrative for football has become not just injuries, but injuries so grave they are life-threatening. As football players become bigger and more aggressive, with steroids and overly engineered gym routines creating super soldiers on the field, more and more football players are getting brutally hurt. Concussions have become routine and head injuries are so bad the effect is felt on players long after they have left the field. Here’s an interesting anecdote that applies to the film world: lifelong football fan and director Peter Berg told Bill Simmons on an ESPN podcast a year and change ago that he was unwilling to let his athletic teenage son play football because of the concussion epidemic.
Written and directed by Peter Landesman (“Parkland”), the NFL drama “Concussion” is based on the GQ article “Game Brain” by Jeanne Marie Laska and follows Dr. Bennet Omalu (played by Will Smith), the forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of football-related brain trauma in professional players, and fought to bring awareness to the public. In his search for the truth, Omalu, a total outsider to pro football, takes on the sports industry’s status quo.
Co-starring Alec Baldwin, Luke Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Arliss Howard, Paul Reiser, David Morse and Albert Brooks, “Concussion” was a project Ridley Scott was aggressively pursuing a few years back, but instead he just remains a producer on the film via his Scott Free productions. Due right around playoff time, “Concussion” hits theaters Christmas Day via Sony Pictures. Watch the first trailer for the drama below.