Will Smith is literally going to tackle his next role in Hollywood.
Thanks to a 2009 GQ article that first highlighted the NFL’s chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) epidemic, Smith has earned his next starring role.
Giannina Facio, Ridley Scott and Michael Schaefer will produce for Scott Free while David Wolthoff and Larry Shuman will produce for the Shuman Company. Scott and Facio have become very passionate about the issue and were very aggressive in landing a star for the pic and have done so with Smith’s attachment.
The article was written by Jeanne Marie Laskas and follows Dr. Bennet Omalu, played by Smith, the forensic neuropathologist who single-handedly made the first discovery of CTE in a professional football player and brought awareness to the public. Story is described as a whistle-blower tale in the vein of “The Insider” humanizing the price paid by professional athletes in impact sports — and the political, cultural and corporate interests that fuel the business of professional sports.
The untitled feature is one of a handful of Hollywood projects revolving around the concussion problem in the NFL taking shape in the industry. Parkes/MacDonald Productions are developing a project based on the book “League Of Denial: The NFL, Concussions And The Battle For Truth” and Isiah Washington is set to star in the indie drama “Game Time Decision,” both of which focus on the concussion issue.
The only parties likely to roll their eyes at the news are NFL owners and Legendary Pictures, who Smith reportedly backed out doing a film for them to hop on board for the upcoming medical drama.