NEW YORK (AP) The Will Smith NFL drama ''Concussion'' will premiere as the centerpiece to the AFI Fest.
The Los Angeles film festival announced Wednesday that the Peter Landesman-directed film will debut at AFI on November 10. Smith stars in the film, which Sony Pictures will release in December, as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic neuropathologist who discovered brain effects from head trauma in football.
''Concussion'' has already proven a hot-button movie. The New York Times earlier reported that the film was altered to placate the NFL, a charge Landesman and Sony have denied.
Tom Rothman, chairman of the Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group, said he wanted to unveil ''Concussion'' early ''so that the discussion can be more informed.''
AFI previous announced that Angelina Jolie's ''By the Sea'' will open the festival, and Adam McKay's ''The Big Short'' will close it.