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Will Smith Plays Nigerian Doctor in New Hollywood Movie, ‘Concussion’



The film is based on the true story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian-born forensic pathologist who first identified the devastating impact of repetitive head injuries on N.F.L. players. It’s a fairly traditional Hollywood story of injustice and “David versus Goliath,” as writer-director Peter Landesman puts it in his Sports Illustrated interview, but with a grim twist—even a decade after Omalu’s discoveries, head injuries are only occasionally discussed with the same passion as, say, Deflategate. (The ongoing New England Patriots scandal, fittingly enough, actually gets top billing in the column where the Concussion trailer debuted.)

Concussion can be pretty accurately marketed as “The movie the N.F.L. doesn’t want you to see,” and with Smith in the lead role and a plum December 25 release date, it has all the makings of a big four-quadrant holiday smash. But will the same people who just spent all of Thanksgiving Day watching professional football be ready to see the sport’s undeniable dark side?

While we wait for that answer, read the GQ story on which the film was based—though it might make it a little harder to enjoy N.F.L. opening day a few weeks from now.

Read a little on the Nigerian Born Doctor below:

Dr. Omalu received his MB, BS [M.D.] degree from the University of Nigeria in 1991. He received his MPH [Masters in Public Health] degree in Epidemiology from University of Pittsburgh in 2004. He also received his MBA [Masters in Business Administration] degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008. Dr. Omalu holds four board certifications in Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Pathology, Forensic Pathology and Neuropathology. Dr. Omalu is also board certified in Medical Management and is a Certified Physician Executive [CPE].

Dr. Omalu was the first to identify, describe and name Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy [CTE] as a disease entity in football players and wrestlers. He is currently the Chief Medical Examiner of San Joaquin County, California, and is the President and Medical Director of Bennet Omalu Pathology. He also serves as a Clinical Professor and Associate Physician Diplomate at the UC, Davis Medical Center, Department of Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Dr. Omalu has testified twice before the United States Congress and has provided hundreds of testimonies as an expert witness in federal courts and state courts across the United States. Dr. Omalu is a member of many professional organizations, including but not limited to the College of American Pathologists, American Society of Clinical Pathology, American College of Physician Executives, American College of Epidemiologists, American Association of Neuropathologists, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, National Association of Medical Examiners, International Academy of Pathology and American Medical Association.