The microscope on concussions, head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) inflicted on NFL players continues to only be magnified. But perhaps never like this before.
The first trailer for Concussion was exclusively released in Sports Illustrated writer Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback column Monday (August 31) and it essentially has Will Smith waging war against the National Football League. Concussion is set for release on Christmas Day.
Based on a true story, Smith portrays Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic neuropathologist who discovered CTE while conducting an autopsy on former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster, who died of suicide in 2002. Omalu's story was told in the League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis documentary. The trailer for Concussion includes an official telling Smith's character that he's up "against a corporation that owns a day of the week."
Concussion takes a close look at the lasting effect that the game's violent nature can have on the human brain. With an actor of Smith's nature involved, the awareness of the damage that head trauma wreaks on NFL players could reach new levels.
"I have no position on whether or not people should play football or whether they should have their kids play football," Concussion director Peter Landesman told King. "To me, this is a story about making adult choices. Once you have the information-and the information has been obscured for a long time, it's been buried and covered up by people who don't want to damage the sport-the information is now out there and I hope this movie brings together the information in a way that the general public can metabolize and now make their own decisions.
"So now that you know that concussions can kill you and playing the sport can kill you, it's on every parent and it's on every college player, it's on every high school player and professional player on whether you are going to let your child play," he added.
In addition to Smith, Concussion also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, Luke Wilson, Paul Reiser and Albert Brooks.