×

Will Smith to Star In NFL Concussion Drama (EXCLUSIVE)

Sony's untitled thriller based on GQ article 'Game Brain'

Will Smith is ready to tackle the NFL’s concussion problem as he is in talks to star in the untitled drama based on the GQ article “Game Brain” for Scott Free and Sony.

Peter Landesman (“Parkland”) is on board to write and direct.

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.

Popular on Variety

The news follows Smith’s exit from the Legendary pic “Brilliance” and sources say a possible reason Smith exited “Brilliance” may have had to do with this film and scheduling concerns.

Smith can be seen next in the Warner Bros. pic “Focus” opposite Margot Robbie. He is repped by CAA and Overbrook Entertainment.

More Film

  • Us Kids

    'Us Kids': Film Review

    The nonstop drama of the Trump White House has succeeded, among other things, in largely pushing gun control from the forefront of the news cycle — no doubt to the relief of the NRA and its allies, despite the continued frequency of U.S. mass shootings. As a result, and perhaps unfairly, Kim A. Snyder’s “Us [...]

  • Logan Paul Ninja Spree

    How Logan Paul and Ninja Helped 'Spree' Cast Capture Influencer Culture Gone Wild

    When it came to depicting the gonzo nature of influencer culture, “Spree” stars Joe Keery and Sasheer Zamata and director Eugene Kotlyarenko did a deep dive into the haves and have-nots of the internet. “Spree,” which premiered Friday at Sundance Film Festival, follows a rideshare driver named Kurt Kunkle (Keery) who will stop at nothing [...]

  • The Go Go's at Chicagofest in

    'The Go-Go's': Film Review

    In the terrific documentary “The Go-Go’s,” there’s a tasty clip of the band playing an early club gig in 1979, when they were part of the L.A. punk scene. They wear bushy black hair and pale white makeup (with rouge!), as if they were trying to be mannequin versions of Darby Crash, and they have [...]

  • A PERFECTLY NORMAL FAMILY

    Watch the Exclusive Trailer of Rotterdam/Goteborg Entry ‘A Perfectly Normal Family’

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the international trailer of the Danish film “A Perfectly Normal Family,” due to compete both at Rotterdam’s Big Screen Competition, and at Göteborg’s Nordic Film Competition. Malou Reyman’s debut feature has been a hot property for sales agent New Europe Film Sales, ever since it was sneak peeked [...]

  • Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life,' '1917' Shoot Past $100 Million

    Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are showing plenty of staying power at North American multiplexes with about $31 million for its second weekend, estimates showed Saturday. Sony’s third installment of the “Bad Boys” action comedy franchise is crossing the $100 million mark at the box office on Saturday, its ninth day of release, and will [...]

  • Dinner in America

    'Dinner in America': Film Review

    There are bits of “Repo Man,” “Napoleon Dynamite” and other literally or just philosophically “punk rock” cult comedies in the DNA of Adam Carter Rehmeier’s rude yet ingratiating “Dinner in America” — and mercifully none whatsoever here of his 2011 first feature “The Bunny Game,” a shrilly monotonous “extreme” horror for which all is now [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content