Will Smith's drama Concussion has been billed as a film exposing what the NFL knew about traumatic brain injuries being suffered by its players, but there's more to it than that. It's just as much a story of Nigerian born pathologist Dr. Bennett Omalu, the man who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and linked it to the sport. Speaking with EW, Smith revealed what made the role of Omalu so interesting for him...
“Once I discovered how badly he wanted to be an American, it explained his clothes and his cars, his choice of job and why he had so many degrees. His impression of an American was you had a business, you had a Mercedes, you had nice suits, you had a family. He connected that to his spirituality and that became the thing that fueled his journey, that kept him going in the face of all odds.”
Omalu faced his share of intimidation from the NFL once he revealed the findings, and obviously the league doesn't want to any of this depicted in the film. Reports surfaced a few weeks that the Sony Pictures had "softened" some aspects of the story to appease the NFL, a claim the studio and director Peter Landesman deny.
We'll find out just how in depth Concussion goes when it opens on Christmas Day, but for now check out the brand new trailer.