Luke Wilson is in talks to play Roger Goodell in the Ridley Scott-produced film about the NFL’s concussion problem, The Wrap reports. The 43-year-old “Old School” actor would join confirmed stars Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, Gugu Mbatha Raw, Paul Reiser, David Morse, Arliss Howard and more in an ensemble cast.
Sony, the studio producing the movie, has yet to comment.
The film, which will star Smith as Bennet Omalu — the neuropathologist who diagnosed the first case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a professional football player — is based on the GQ article “Game Brain” by Jeanne Marie Laskas. Recent sign-on Morse will play ex-Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster, the player whose autopsy eventually shows signs of CTE, and Howard will play NFL neurologist Joseph Maroon.
Wilson’s Goodell is the incoming NFL commissioner who reacts by convening a summit to investigate the medical matter. (GQ notes Omalu was not invited to the event.) Eventually Goodell comes to acknowledge the connection between football and CTE, and donates lots of money to scientific research.
The real Goodell, meanwhile, recently was mired in a class-action lawsuit brought on by former NFL players who accused the league of not doing enough to prevent head injuries. The players and the league eventually reached an uncapped $765 million settlement.