Will Smith Circling Ridley Scott's Football Concussion Drama
After dropping out of Legendary's novel adaptation "Brilliance" from director Julius Onah, Will Smith is now reportedly eying a lead role in a sports drama about life-changing injuries in professional football. Developed at Sony, it's inspired by a GQ article "Game Brain".
Ridley Scott was initially looking to direct the movie after wrapping up "Exodus: Gods and Kings", but he's now content to just serve as one of the producers. Peter Landesman who made his directing debut on the JFK flick "Parkland" is tapped to direct the project and write the script.
Deadline learns that Smith will play Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of CTE, the concussion syndrome that has been fatal in contributing to the suicides of such former NFL superstars as Dave Duerson and Junior Seau.
A rival project based on a book called "League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth" by ESPN reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru is also in the works. Writer/director Matthew A. Cherry who is a former NFL wide receiver is on board the indie flick with Isaiah Washington ("Blue Caprice") attached to star.
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