*Will Smith is reportedly in talks to star in Ridley Scott’s untitled NFL drama, playing real life forensic neuropathologist Dr. Bennett Omalu, the first researcher to discover Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in the brain of a football player.
CTE is a degenerative brain disease brought on by head trauma that is only discoverable post mortem. The condition has affected several football players later in life who either ended up dying from the condition or were unable to cope with the pain it caused them and committed suicide.
According to Deadline.com, the Sony Pictures film will be based on the 2009 GQ article “Game Brain” by Jeanne Marie Laskas, which looks into how Dr. Omalu’s autopsy of Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster led to his discovery of a new disease that he named chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
According to reports, the plot will focus on the fact that the NFL suppressed Omalu’s findings and continually intimidated and threatened him as well as attempted to discredit him and his research. It’s claimed that they even lied to former football players who had been trying to discover the truth behind why their health was so quickly deteriorating.
The script will be written by Peter Landesman, who will also direct the film for Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions.