Having pulled out of Legendary’s sci-fi movie “Brilliance” last week, Will Smith is in talks to star in the football concussion drama “Game Brain” for Sony and Scott Free, an individual familiar with the project told TheWrap.
Ridley Scott and Giannina Facio will produce for Scott Free along with Larry Shuman and David Woltoff of the Shuman Company.
Smith is nearing a deal to play Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic neuropathologist who first discovered the existence of CTE in a professional football player and worked tirelessly to raise public awareness.
Scott envisions a morality tale in the vein of “The Insider” that will feature Omalu as a whistleblower caught between his ethical obligations and the hard realities of the professional sports business.
Following a string of lawsuits against the NFL, football concussions have become a hot topic in Hollywood, with Parkes/MacDonald developing an adaptation of “League of Denial” and Isaiah Washington set to star in the indie movie “Game Time Decision.” Both projects would be at a disadvantage should Smith close a deal to star in “Game Brain,” thereby giving that project a major edge on its competition.
Smith next stars as a con man opposite Margot Robbie in the Warner Bros. movie “Focus.” He’s represented by CAA and Overbrook Entertainment.
The news was first reported by Variety.