Fresh off critical acclaim for his hit song “Coming Home” earlier this year, R&B singer/songwriter Leon Bridges has provided a new song to Peter Landesman’s upcoming NFL drama “Concussion.” The soulful tune, called “So Long,” plays over the closing credits of the film, which opens Dec. 25 in the thick of the professional football season.
“I’m so glad to have Leon’s music in the movie,” Landesman said. “His songs are a shot straight from the heart, full of feeling and emotion, power and heartbreak. And it’s a perfect match for the movie, because I could describe Dr. Bennet Omalu the same way — in the movie, he’s a spiritual person, standing up on his own against a world of powerful forces, using only his smarts, his courage and the knowledge that he’s right.”
In the film, Will Smith stars as Omalu, who in 2002 discovered an empirical link between head trauma caused by the sport of football and a degenerative brain disease he dubbed chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. “Concussion” dramatizes his research on the brains of former players Mike Webster, Terry Long, Andre Waters, Justin Strzelczyk and Tom McHale, as well as his courageous stand against a corporate giant eager to snuff out his work.
“So Long,” meanwhile, could easily figure into what is shaping up to be a strong best original song Oscar race. The pool of potential star performers on the upcoming 88th annual Academy Awards is pretty deep, featuring the likes of Bridges, Brian Wilson, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa, Alicia Keys and Sam Smith, among others. That ought to leave Oscarcast producers, eager to land a wide audience, licking their chops.
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Bridges has posted a 15-second preview of “So Long” to his Instagram page. The song’s music is by Bridges and Joshua Block, Austin Jenkins, and Chris Vivion of Niles City Sound, with lyrics by Bridges. It will be available on all digital sales platforms, including Spotify, iTunes and Amazon, on Nov. 20.