Will Smith Surprised That ‘Concussion’ Didn’t Make Fans Feel Differently About NFL

Stacey Cole - Author
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Nov. 6 2016, Updated 8:29 p.m. ET

Will Smith expected Concussion, his 2015 movie highlighting traumatic football injuries, to create much-needed awareness about head injuries sustained during football games.

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The movie was created to educate audiences about gradual brain degeneration experienced by American football players due to years of hard knocks. Concussion depicts Will Smith playing Dr. Bennet Omalu, a physician and forensic pathologist, who takes on the National Football League which tries to suppress his medical findings.

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American football is one of the big three sports in the U.S. and an NFL game is considered a huge media event, bringing in plenty of revenue. As a football fan himself, it wasn’t Smith’s intention to influence fans to shun the game altogether, but the Men in Black actor did want both football fans and players to make themselves aware of the unjustifiable pressure and associated traumatic injuries faced by players, while catering to NFL’s expectations. According to Complex, the actor revealed his optimism about the film’s critical reception.

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“I don’t think it’s going to generate too much controversy [with the NFL]. There will be a little difficulty in swallowing it, as it was for me. I’m a football dad, you know.”

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Unfortunately, the movie not only failed at the box office, it also failed to reduce the hype surrounding the game. The lack of support from football fans left the Hancock actor very disappointed, especially with football fans who continue to have high expectations from the glamorous sporting event and the players involved.

In fact, viewers failed to understand that the movie was, in fact, urging sports organizations to come up with a solution to prevent head injuries. According to Vanity Fair, for the betterment of the game, Will Smith is urging people to understand the science behind injuries.

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“I thought Concussion would have a bigger impact. I knew it would be hard because people love the game, but the science is so overwhelming, and it’s something that we really need to take a look at.”

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Despite being unpopular at the box office, Will Smith’s Concussion struck a chord with David Petraeus, former director of the CIA, who was initially hesitant to watch the movie because he thought it was an anti-NFL movie. His wife encouraged him to watch the movie and to see the true message the movie was trying to convey.

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Concussion‘s failure at the box office is a clear indication that even a famous Hollywood celebrity like Will Smith, who has featured in a number of blockbusters, can’t achieve success at the box office if a movie doesn’t resonate with its audience. Unlike many of his Hollywood counterparts, Will Smith believes in delivering his best performance in every movie project he undertakes, without worrying too much about the screenplay, photography, and the cast. According to Vanity Fair, the actor stated that being finicky can actually prove harmful to a film project.

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“It takes thousands of people to make a movie. And anybody can mess it up. I realized, also, the more you try to make something special, the greater chance you have of making something horrible.”

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Suicide Squad, Will Smith’s latest movie, won critical acclaim; and ComingSoon reports that the actor has once again teamed with David Ayer, director of Suicide Squad, to feature in Bright, Netflix’s upcoming action film.

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“I was extremely selective [in choosing projects] for a few years in there, and I realized — nobody knows. It takes thousands of people to make a movie. And anybody can mess it up. I realized, also, the more you try to make something special, the greater chance you have of making something horrible. You can have the greatest screenplay, the best D.P. [director of photography], and a magnificent cast, and you can do everything right—and still make a horrendous movie.”

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[Featured Image by Abraham Caro Marin/AP Images]

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