EXCLUSIVE: Lost star Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is tackling another role in a Sony film, this time joining Will Smith in the studio’s untitled NFL concussion drama directed by Parkland‘s Peter Landesman. Akinnuoye-Agbaje starred recently in disaster period pic Pompeii and the upcoming Annie remake for Sony. He’ll play real-life NFL safety Dave Duerson, a three-time Pro Bowl pick who died in 2011 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. At his request, Duerson’s brain was sent to researchers, who determined that the athlete had suffered from the debilitating symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) caused by his football injuries.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, Bitsie Tulloch, and Albert Brooks also star in the film which centers on Smith’s forensic neuropathologist Dr. Bennett Omalu, whose studies on CTE prompt the NFL to take brain-related injuries seriously. Ridley Scott, Giannina Facio, David Wolthoff, Larry Shuman, and Elizabeth Cantillon are producing. Michael Schaefer and David Crockett are executive producers.
Akinnuoye-Agbaje recently filmed a role in Jay Roach’s Trumbo opposite Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren and Diane Lane. On the small screen, the erstwhile Mr. Eko turned up on Season 5 of HBO’s Game Of Thrones and soon will return to NBC’s Odyssey as series regular. Other recent films include Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World and The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister And Pete. He is repped by APA, Circle of Confusion, the Artists Partnership in the UK, and Felker Toczek Suddleson.