Though there was talk last year that Ridley Scott was considering tackling the controversy surrounding head injuries in America’s National Football League, it appears he’s decided to step back from directing and simply produce an untitled film on the topic, which now has Will Smith in talks to star.
Parkland director Peter Landesman is the man in the hot seat, looking to write and call the shots on a film that will adapt Jeanne Marie Laskas’ GQ article Game Brain. The piece followed Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic neuropathologist who made the crucial first discovery of concussive head trauma in an NFL player and strove to bring awareness to the general public.
With Landesman’s take described as in the vein of The Insider – putting a human face on a story about a thorny issue and the commercial interests involved in making sure the news doesn’t spread too far – it’ll be one of several films aiming to tackle the subject, including an indie drama called Game Time Decision and a film based on the non-fiction book League Of Denial: The NFL, Concussions And The Battle For Truth.
Smith had been attached to sci-fi thriller Brilliance but jumped ship recently, which has led some to speculate that he wants to focus on the NFL film instead. He’ll next be seen in con drama Focus, which arrives here on February 27 next year.