Of all the stellar journalism that came out of the NFL concussion class-action case, GQ’s 2009 article, “Game Brain,” is arguably the most important. Written by Jeanne Marie Laskas, it kickstarted serious inquiry into the way NFL handles concussion injuries for players. Naturally, it has now been optioned for a film starring Will Smith.
Framed around Dr. Bennet Omalu’s discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in a pro football player that ultimately brought the problem to the public, the film will feature Smith in the doctor’s lab coat. Producers describe the movie as “a whistle-blower tale in the vein of ‘The Insider,’ but, being as this is Will Smith we’re talking about, maybe thing about it as ‘Enemy of the State’ with pigskin.
The feature is currently untitled, but counts itself as one future project among several dealing with the NFL concussion problem. Isiah Washington will soon star in Game Time Decision, and Parkes/MacDonald Productions are currently producing a film version of League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions, and the Battle for Truth.
No word on when this one will start filming, or a release date. But if you’re jonesing for some Smith, you can catch him in Focus—which has nothing to do with the NFL—starting early next year.