BSO- In dozens of studioemails unearthed by hackers, Sony Pictures executives; the director, PeterLandesman; and representatives of Mr. Smith discussed how to avoid antagonizing the N.F.L. by altering the script and marketing the film more as a story, rather than a condemnation of football or the league.
“Will is not anti football (nor is the movie) and isn’t planning to be a spokesman for what football should be or shouldn’t be but rather is an actor taking on an exciting challenge,” Dwight Caines, the president of domestic marketing at Sony Pictures, wrote in an email to three top studio executives about how to position the movie. “We’ll develop messaging with the help of N.F.L. consultant to ensure that we are telling a dramatic story and not kicking the hornet’s nest.”
Ya know the movie 'Taken'? Well, spoiler alert, but it's the one where Liam Neeson pretty much murders the entire continent of Europe in cold blood while in the process of hunting down his daughter who was kidnapped. Yeah, I know, pretty unrealistic, right? But that's okay, because it was entertaining. Shit, every single action movie ever created features a lengthy shootout where the 'hero' somehow avoids 6,000 bullets, shot from point blank range, en route to victory. Again, not realistic, but entertaining. You have got to be one or the other, but never neither. Now, a movie about concussions in professional football, on the surface, seems pretty fucking boring. But a movie about concussions in professional football, that has a script that was approved by the NFL, seems even more unrealistic. Listen, I get it. When a billion dollar industry throws an inconceivable amount of money in your face and says "we've got final cut on this" then you tip your cap and say "yessir, can I shine your shoes while you wait?". With that said, it pretty much renders the entire production pointless. The story of head injuries in professional stories isn't pretty. It doesn't have a succinct, feel good ending that you can wrap up and put a bow on before fading to black. At first I didn't want to see this movie because I didn't want it to change my view on a league that I spend all Sunday enjoying. Now I don't want to see it because not only will it lack any integrity whatsoever, but it's just flat out going to be a terrible movie.
Instead of calling this film 'Concussion', maybe we should change the name to 'Concussions: They're Actually Not All That Bad'. Wasn't this supposed to based on a true story? So what is the NFL's version based on? A true-ish story, but like, kinda not really at all? Any true story about concussions is not going to have a happy ending, and thus not going to have an ending that the NFL finds sufficient. It was one thing when this motion picture was staring the NFL right in the face and telling them to go fuck themselves. At least that was respectable. Now it's taking it in the ass and sacrificing everything that it stood for in the first place. I wasn't going to see the movie anyway, because quite frankly, I can't handle the truth, but now that the amount of truth can be called into question I find it hard to believe that even those that dislike the NFL will want to see it. Again, considering how powerful the NFL is, I can't blame the producer or the director for compromising. I am just a little surprised at the lack of clairvoyance that it took to attempt to criticize a multibillion dollar corporation, that literally owns a day of the week from September to February, on such a huge platform. Can't really avoid disrupting the 'hornet's nest' when you essentially tried to launch it into oncoming traffic.
Oh well, maybe next the studio can work on a true story about corruption in politics, who knows, maybe that one will go off without a 'Hitch'...