Will Smith Eyes Football Concussion Picture for Writer-Director Peter Landesman

     June 3, 2014

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After recently dropping out of Julius Onah’s Brilliance, Will Smith’s schedule is pretty open.  Sure, he’s got a few announced films, including a Hancock sequel and a third installment of Bad Boys, but his original film slate is pretty empty.  Enter an untitled picture from writer-director Peter Landesman, who adapted the GQ article, “Game Brain.”  The Ridley Scott-produced picture set up at Sony is described as “a drama focusing on the debilitating effects that concussions are having on our sports heroes, and the role that league owners play in allowing it to happen.”  Hit the jump for more on Smith’s potential role.

will-smith-football-movieAs Deadline reports, Smith is circling the role of “Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic neuro-pathologist who was a total outsider and made the first discovery of CTE, the concussion syndrome that has been fatal in contributing to the suicides of former superstars like Dave Duerson and Junior Seau.”  Scott originally eyed the picture as a directing vehicle, with plans to construct a morality tale in a similar vein of Michael Mann’s tobacco industry exposé, The Insider.  Landesman, who made his directorial debut on the 2013 JFK picture Parkland, will follow up with this as-of-yet untitled effort.

The report also states that Smith’s team had recently denied this casting, but assure that Smith has met with Landesman this week with the hopes of moving quickly on this picture as other competing concussion projects are in the works.  One such indie picture stars Isaiah Washington and will be written and directed by former NFL wide receiver, Matthew A. Cherry.  Time will tell if Smith officially comes on board to make the untitled Sony picture first out of the tunnel.

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