Concussion script
Concussion (2015)
Synopsis: While conducting an autopsy on former NFL football player Mike Webster (David Morse), forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) discovers neurological deterioration that is similar to Alzheimer's disease. Omalu names the disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy and publishes his findings in a medical journal. As other athletes face the same diagnosis, the crusading doctor embarks on a mission to raise public awareness about the dangers of football-related head trauma.

1.

OPEN ON EXTENDED TITLES, A CUT ASSEMBLY OF HOME MOVIE AND TV

FOOTAGE:

1

1) Rhinelander High, Wisconsin. 1970. Rockwellian Americana:

football cheerleaders, full stands in tribal green & white,

convoys of yellow buses. Then-

2

2) A teenage MIKE WEBSTER playing for the Hodags. Biggest

thing on the field, an unstoppable machine. Now-

3

3) Mike has broken his arm, holds up his cast, big smile,

proud warrior. Then-

4

4) Mike is 22, wearing Pittsburgh Steelers practice uni,

first day in camp. Alone against the mountainous men, a

hazing. Infamous “nutcracker” drill - percussive hits like

car head-ons, gun-shots. Coaches screaming: “Who’s a man?!

Who’s tough?! Who’s gonna hit somebody!?”

5

5) Webster - now 27, thicker, less joyful - wins ABC Wide

World of Sports’ “Strongest Man in Football” contest. Then-

6

6) Footage of the interior game. Steelers vs. Somebody.

Webster vs. The World. Men as big as walls, and when Webster

hits his, shovel-sized hands clap his ear-holes. Lightning

bolts through his body, face in paralytic shock, and now-

7

7) Webster showers in post-game confetti winning his fourth

Super Bowl ring. Shoulder-presses the Vince Lombardi

championship trophy. His countenance primal. Now-

8

8) Back to that hit: Webster’s helmet knocked off, left arm

briefly hangs numb. Somebody’s screaming, “That’s it! Now

that’s how you gotta hit him!” And now-

9

9) A suddenly old-looking Webster roughing it through the

“nutcracker”. This time steamrolled by a new young Steelers’

bad-ass, bearded, mountain-sized. Then-

10

10) The hit again. Webster getting up slow. Through his haze,

hears:
“That’s it! Kill the head the body will die! KILL THE

HEAD THE BODY WILL DIE! Now run it again!” Now we find-

11

11) Webster after a game, older, wandering off the field. Now-

WEBSTER (OVER)

(intoning)

This Hall of Fame class of players

is a tremendous group. Tremendous

people. Not perfect people-

12) Webster is 45 but looks 60. Delivering his Hall of Fame

speech in Canton, OH--

CHERRY PAGES 1.21.15 2.

WEBSTER (CONT’D)

Not people who are pretentious or

whatever. Real people. And that’s

what the game of football is about.

And more manic, rambling scree. The game he loved. The owners

and coaches. CUTS to crowd - family, players - embarrassed,

wanting this to end.

Then it does. Titles end. Music ends. We cut to black, and-

MAN SINGING (PRE-LAP)

(Debarge’s ‘I like it’)

I've been thinkin'/'bout you for

quite a while/You're on my mind

everyday and every night/My every

thought is you, the things you

do/Seems so satisfying to me/I must

confess it, girl-

(voice big, melodic if not

great, continuing as we

come up to--)

13 EXT. PITTSBURGH - ESTABLISHING - DAYBREAK

The rust-belt wakes. Iron bridges like spokes of a wheel.

Wrecked fallow mills, reclaimed by nature. The massive brand-

new grounded UFO that is Heinz Field, where the Steelers

play. The converging three rivers aflame all the way to the

picket fence of Allegheny Mountains beyond.

TITLE:
SEPTEMBER, 2002

MAN SINGING (OVER)

Ooh...and I like it/You send chills

up my spine every time/I take a

look at you/Ooh...and I like it-

(now we go into--)

14 INT./EXT. BENNET’S CAR (MOVING)/PITTSBURGH

A blue Mercedes E320 sedan and find BENNET OMALU, 35,

shamelessly and sweetly singing.

BENNET:

I like the way you comb your

hair/And I like those stylish

clothes you wear/It's just the

little things you do/That show how

much you really care-

(singing his way through-)

CHERRY PAGES 1.21.15 3.

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Peter Landesman

Peter Landesman is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, journalist, novelist and painter. He wrote a number of cover stories for the New York Times Magazine, New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly and others, including investigations into global arms trafficking, sex trafficking, refugee trafficking, the Rwandan genocide, and the creation and smuggling of forged and stolen art and antiquities. He also reported from the conflicts in Kosovo, Rwanda, and Pakistan and Afghanistan post-9/11. more…

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"Concussion" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 23 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/concussion_304>.

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