Football fans, as a rule, prefer not to think about the danger the sport poses to the health of its players—so it will be interesting to see how they respond to a biopic about the man who exposed the deadly effects of the game that stars one of Hollywood’s biggest names. Think of Peter Landesman’s Concussion, whose first trailer was released today, as The Insider for football.
Will Smith stars as Bennet Omalu, the doctor who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy after performing an autopsy on former Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Webster in 2002. “I found a disease that no one has ever seen,” Smith explains in a Nigerian accent that sounds surprisingly credible to my inexpert ear. Alec Baldwin shows up to deliver some dramatic exposition and foreshadowing in his trademark gravelly voice, and Albert Brooks looks ultra-smarmy playing controversial forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht. Landesman is still a newcomer—his only other film as a writer-director was 2013’s JFK assassination drama Parkland—but Concussion looks as gripping as wonk thrillers come. It hits theaters Christmas Day.