The first footage of the movie that promises to bring the NFL's concussion controversy to the mainstream has arrived.
On Monday, Peter King of The MMQB published the first exclusive trailer for Concussion, which stars Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the neuropathologist at the forefront of CTE research:
Peter King @SI_PeterKing
In my column today is the exclusive trailer for @ConcussionMovie, starring Will Smith. http://t.co/niEkvJd1aK https://t.co/mVKMUm4rNy2015-8-31 08:28:10
The film's trailer depicts Smith portraying the difficulty Dr. Omalu had in having his research taken seriously and the NFL's efforts to keep the dangers of repetitive head trauma quiet. Concussion will hit theaters Dec. 25 and is based on a 2009 GQ article by Jeanne Marie Laskas.
Arash Markazi of ESPN expressed his pleasure at seeing Omalu's story being made known to such a wide audience:
Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi
I first met Dr. Bennet Omalu 10 years ago. Glad his amazing story is becoming a movie. http://t.co/r0jRS5kDci https://t.co/8NPin0Z0ST2015-8-31 15:28:06
If the trailer is any indication, Concussion will be perhaps the most widely available criticism of the NFL's handling of concussions on record. Efforts like League of Denial, a book and documentary covering the NFL's concussion issue by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, drew national attention but did not have nearly the reach of a film starring Smith—one of the planet's biggest movie stars.
"So now that you know that concussions can kill you and playing the sport can kill you, it’s on every parent and it’s on every college player, it’s on every high school player and professional player on whether you are going to let your child play. It’s the same with smoking, drinking and doing drugs," director Peter Landesman told King.
The NFL has not commented on the release of Concussion. In April, a judge granted preliminary approval to an NFL settlement with former players that will cover their medical costs related to head trauma suffered while playing football. The settlement is expected to cost the NFL $1 billion over 65 years.
According to CNN.com, "Reports show an increasing number of retired NFL players who have suffered concussions developed memory and cognitive issues such as dementia, Alzheimer's, depression and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)." For more, check out CNN Library's fast facts about NFL concussions.
Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.