Ridley Scott hasn’t even finished filming his biblical epic, Exodus, but he’s already considering his next film project. Deadline reports that Scott is planning to direct an unnamed movie about football players. But don’t expect a feel-good sports-movie about a hot young player or a grizzled old coach leading his team to victory against all odds; Scott’s picture will focus on the life shattering consequences of concussions and other types of brain damage that many football players suffer from.Viewers can most likely expect an indictment of an industry that encourages its athletes to take the hits and suffer through them for the good of the team with all the grit and gristle the director of American Gangster and The Counselor is known for.
The subject matter is certainly topical; over the past few years the public has heard the stories of retired players like Ray Easterling and Jim McMahon, who have suffered from effects like dementia and depression which are believed to be a result of the repeated blows to the head they received throughout their careers. Early this year, the NFL agreed to contribute $765 million to help retired players suffering from brain injuries after thousands of players filed a lawsuit against the league. According to Deadline:
“[Scott] has been moved reading all that has been written on athletes including former NFL stars Junior Seau and Dave Duerson, both of whom committed suicide after suffering chronic traumatic encephalopathy…”
On November 18, the GQ Digital Network will release a documentary series about concussions in football titled Casualties of the Gridiron.
Scott’s proposed film is still very early in its planning stage – not to mention Scott has to finish Exodus - so no cast or writers have been announced, but Gianina Facio (a frequent Scott actress who co-produced Matchstick Men) is set to produce.