WATCH: Will Smith Takes on the NFL in the Trailer for “Concussion” [UPDATED]
“You’re going to war with a corporation that owns a day of the week.”
Roger Goodell’s brief tenure as commissioner of the NFL has been incredibly tumultuous so far, to say the least. Between the player’s lockout of 2011, the referee’s lockout of 2012, Spygate, Bountygate, Deflategate, and, of course, the ongoing domestic violence issues, it’s kind of incredible that he’s still in power.
Perhaps most heinous of all, however, is an issue that actually transcends his time, and dates back to the beginning of the sport: concussion-related brain damage. That’s the topic of Will Smith’s upcoming film, bluntly titled Concussion,which tells the story of Bennet Omalu, a pathologist from Pittsburgh who went to war with the NFL over his findings about chronic traumatic encephalopathy—a disorder caused by repeated brain trauma. And as you can imagine, the NFL was none too happy to hear about his findings.
Anyone for tennis?
Concussion comes out on Christmas Day.
Originally published August 31, 12:35 p.m.
Updated: September 3, 10:49 a.m.: Well, it looks like last winter’s Sony e-mail hack is the strange and unsavory gift that keeps on giving. Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter (via The New York Times) revealed several email chains between lawyers and studio executives about softening Concussion‘s tone to avoid angering the NFL. While Peter Landesman—the film’s writer/director—denied that scenes were changed or cut out of fear of angering the league, he did admit that certain moments from the original script were omitted for defamatory reasons:
“These emails were taken out of context in a year-plus creative process that’s a constant negotiation…[the Goodell scene] took place in a room that I wasn’t in, about a conversation that took place between people that I didn’t talk to.”
Read the full scene—a late-night call between Goodell and Dr. Elliot Pellman about Dave Duerson’s suicide—that was cut here.
(via The Hollywood Reporter)