New Will Smith NFL concussion movie: Variety is reporting today that actor Will Smith will play the role of African American forensic pathologist and neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu in an upcoming film based on the NFL concussion tragedies. The film will trace Dr. Bennet Omalu's discovery of CTE in NFL football players and examine the problem with concussions and contact sports. The true-story movie, inspired by "Game Brain," an article that appeared in GQ Magazine, will be directed and written by Peter Landesman.
The story regarding the issue with NFL concussions broke in the late 2000's when Dr. Bennet Omalu noticed a connection between a string of football players and (CTE) chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a debilitating disease affecting thousands of NFL players. Dr. Omalu's story was told in Frontline's "League of Denial," where it was revealed that the National Football League wanted to keep the finding that football players were dying from dementia and Alzheimer's due to repetitive head injuries and concussions a secret. In the Frontline episode Dr. Bennet Omalu stated that no one was happy about the discovery.
Dr. Bennet Omalu performed the autopsy of Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Webster, who died of a heart attack at the age of 50. The former player also had dementia, resulting from repetitive trauma to the head. Friends of Mike Webster stated that they had always respected him as a charming, intelligent and charming player, and that it was sad to see his mental sharpness decline as a result of dementia.
Mike Webster's case is not an isolated event. According to Dr. Omalu, every single NFL player that he has examined had damage to the brain. As NFL players age, dementia is only one of the many problems they might face, including chronic knee injuries, back pain and other injuries that age them well beyond their actual years. The new Will Smith movie, which has not been titled, is one of several whistle-blowing movies that are in the works between 2014 and 2015, according to Deadline.