Luke Wilson In Talks To Play Roger Goodell In A Movie About How Roger Goodell Does The Right Thing In The End?
There's a movie in pre-production based on a 2009 GQ article called "Game Brain." The article, written by Jeanne Marie Laskas, details the story of forensic neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu, who first discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in former (and now deceased) NFL players like former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster. Not surprisingly, Omalu's work was not readily accepted by the NFL -- the article (and ostensibly the movie) details the pushback he faced from league doctors and officials after making his findings public.
The role of Dr. Omalu is already set -- he'll be played by Will Smith. Today, TheWrap reported that Luke Wilson, of all people, is in talks to play somehow-still-NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Notably, Goodell's character arc is described as such (emphasis ours):
Goodell is the incoming NFL commissioner who leads a summit to investigate the connection between playing football and CTE. He eventually recognizes the connection and donates huge amounts of money to scientific research.
Roger Goodell admitting he was wrong? That doesn't sound... right. At all. That last bit probably refers to when the NFL donated $30 million to the National Institute of Health in 2012, nearly four years after the timeline in the article ends. The official press release announcing this donation -- "the single-largest donation to any organization in the league's 92-year history" -- makes no mention of Omalu or his pioneering work.
No one can deny that $30 million is a lot of money, and that it was a step in the right direction for the NFL to donate in the first place. But it's worth remembering that the NFL and NFLPA had previously agreed to committing at least $100 million over 10 years to medical research, primarily on brain injuries. Also, Goodell made $44.2 million in a 12-month period from March 2012 to March 2013, including a bonus worth $40.36 million.
Perhaps the movie will shed light on Goodell's learning process and how he came to understand and appreciate Omalu's work. It probably will not show him receiving a $40+ million bonus, or him watching a video of Ray Rice beating his fiancee and then saying "Well, let's just pretend like we didn't see that, okay?"
Then Owen Wilson will show up as Goodell's dead-beat brother and eat all of the Pop-Tarts, as per Owen Wilson's usual schtick.
Photo via Getty
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