The New York Times reported on Tuesday:
"When Sony Pictures Entertainment decided to make a movie focusing on the death and dementia professional football players have endured from repeated hits to the head — and the N.F.L.’s efforts toward a cover-up — it signed Will Smith to star as one of the first scientists to disclose the problem... even Sony, which unlike most other major studios in Hollywood has no significant business ties to the N.F.L., found itself softening some points it might have made against the multibillion-dollar sports enterprise that controls the nation’s most-watched game. In dozens of studio emails unearthed by hackers, Sony executives; the director, Peter Landesman; and representatives of Mr. Smith discussed how to avoid antagonizing the N.F.L. by altering the script and marketing the film more as a whistle-blower story, rather than a condemnation of football or the league."
It its upcoming film "Concussion," Will Smith starts as doctor Bennet Omalu, a real forensic pathologist who first discovered a neurodegenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brains of football players. If you have watched the 2013 PBS Frontline documentary, “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis,” then you have a good idea what will happen in the film, assuming it sticks close to the facts. If you haven’t see the documentary, you can learn more online.
Many people feel the league dragged its feet while investigating the disease, its impacts, and solutions. You can read my views about the league, its efforts, and its settlement agreement with former players. I stopped watching games during the 2013 season.
Of course, Sony is free to make the film it wants to make, and the upcoming film seems more entertainment than documentary. If you want a documentary, watch the Frontline episode. Sony's "Concussion" will debut in December 2015. I see two takeaways from the report in the New York Times:
- Sony "blinked" fearing pressure from the N.F.L.
- Hacked e-mails have a long shelf life and relevancy: a consequence of Sony's 2014 data breach
What are your opinions? The official trailer for the upcoming film is below.