Sony Pictures announced today that it has scheduled the Will Smith drama Concussion for a Christmas Day release. The film is opening at a prime time, not only because of the holiday movie season but also just as the NFL will be preparing for the playoffs. Concussion follows Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of football-related brain trauma in a pro player and fought to bring awareness to the public. In his search for the truth, Omalu, a total outsider to pro football, takes on the sports industry’s status quo. His studies on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), prompted the NFL to take brain-related injuries seriously. CTE was cited in the suicides of former NFL stars Junior Seau and Dave Duerson. Deadline announced Smith’s attachment to the film back in June.
Written and directed by Peter Landesman (Parkland), Concussion is based on the GQ article “Game Brain” by Jeanne Marie Laskas. Alec Baldwin, Luke Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Arliss Howard, Paul Reiser, David Morse and Albert Brooks also star. Concussion is produced by Ridley Scott, Giannina Facio, David Wolthoff, Larry Shuman and Elizabeth Cantillon. Executive producers are David Crockett and Michael Schaefer. Landesman’s production team includes director of photography Salvatore Totino, production designer David Crank, Oscar-winning editor William Goldenberg and costume designer Dayna Pink. Hannah Minghella and Jonathan Kadin are overseeing the Concussion production for the studio.