The director of Will Smith's new football drama Concussion has dismissed suggestions the film was changed to avoid upsetting the sport's most powerful body, the National Football League (NFL).
In the movie, the Hollywood actor plays real life forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu, who linked head injuries suffered by players to conditions including memory loss, depression and even dementia.
A number of emails which were leaked during the Sony Pictures Entertainment hacking scandal last year (14) suggest changes were made to the film to tone down the story, prompting speculation the alterations were made to appease NFL chiefs.
However, the film's director Peter Landesman has dismissed the claims, telling the Associated Press, "We always intended to make an entertaining, hard-hitting film about Dr. Omalu's David-and-Goliath story, which played out like a Hollywood thriller. Anyone who sees the movie will know that it never once compromises the integrity and the power of the real story."
A representative for Sony adds, "As will become immediately clear to anyone actually seeing the movie, nothing with regard to this important story has been 'softened' to placate anyone."