Let’s be honest: Will Smith hasn’t had a great movie in awhile. Focus fell flat and After Earth was a dismal attempt to reunite father and son (played by real-life son Jaden Smith) back on the big screen. Now, it appears Will might have something promising with his new film, Concussion.
The football-based movie tackles one of the sport’s prime issues at hand: concussions. With a multitude of former NFL players falling victim to brain trauma long after their careers, Concussion will place the magnifying glass on one of the league’s biggest issues.
Smith plays the role of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian-born neuropathologist who draws an alarming correlation between the deaths of deceased NFL players and the head trauma they received during their playing days on the grid-iron. When Omalu approaches the NFL about his shocking discovery, the league finds themselves huddling for solutions to oust the good old doctor out of the picture.
Concussion will definitely cause malaise for the NFL considering the sensitivity surrounding the touchy issue. NFL great, Junior Seau ― who was recently named to the NFL Hall of Fame― was diagnosed with CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), after taking his life away back in 2012.
Concussion director, Peter Landesman, spoke to Sports Illustrated about Smith’s character and said the following:
“Bennett has a savant-like relationship to the dead,” Landesman tells SI. “His obsession is to tell the story of death. As he says in the movie, I think more about the way people die and reasons they die than the way they live. He was completely focused on the science. He didn’t know football, he didn’t know who Mike Webster was; to him, Webster was just another body on a slab. He didn’t have a reverence for the game because he wasn’t brought up in this country. So in some ways, his purity and his innocence was a requirement for him to drill down into this and tell us a very uncomfortable and inconvenient truth.”
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