If you’re a fan of pro football, or of sports in general, you’ve probably heard your fair share about how big a problem concussions and other head injuries have become. They’ve always been an issue, really, but it’s only in recent years the long-term effects on retired players have come under scrutiny, and the lawsuits have followed. The subject is ripe for cinematic exploration, and none other than Ridley Scott is quite interested in tackling the subject for an upcoming feature.
Scott, whose most recent film The Counselor is currently underwhelming audiences and critics, is reported to be quite the football fan, according to Deadline. He hasn’t taken lightly to stories over the years of players such as Junior Seau and Dave Duerson experiencing health problems so severe that suicide was their preferred answer, leaving their brains to science to study the overall impact that their years in the game had on their brains.
The goal is to create a morality-driven drama that focuses on the after-effects of the concussions football players suffer, as well as taking into account the role the league owners play in allowing it to continue, and Deadline cites the dramatic cover-up in Michael Mann’s The Insider as the tone Scott wants this film to match. Somehow I don’t think Ivan Reitman’s upcoming Draft Day would enter this conversation at all.
Before this project will ever see the barest light of dawn before the day, Scott will need to get through the massive undertaking that is his Biblical epic Exodus, currently filming with a December 12, 2014 release date. Chances are he could film this entire football feature in the post-production phase on Exodus, though he’ll probably wait until that one is in the can completely, which will probably allow a few more controversial stories to come out involving player injuries.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has tried his damnedest to curb head shots by calling every other kind of tackle illegal, along with fining players thousands of dollars for dirty hits. But considering most of these guys are beyond wealthy, the only thing that could feasibly get the majority of defensive players on board is if ejections and unpaid suspensions became the norm. But even if that were the case, some players like the Washington Redskins’ Brandon Meriweather see the only alternative is to "take people’s knees out" and "end people’s careers." (Though he did apologize for those thoughtless comments.)
I’m not sure if Scott is the right person for this gig, even though his smaller films tend to tell more interesting stories than his big budget epics. Is this the kind of tale you want Scott to tell? Watch the body-bludgeoning video below and let us know in the comments.