NEW YORK (AP) A day after its trailer debuted online, the Will Smith football head-trauma film ''Concussion'' is already sparking controversy.

Citing studio emails leaked in the hack of Sony Pictures, The New York Times reported Tuesday that the movie ''Concussion'' was altered to avoid antagonizing the NFL. The Times quoted one email that discusses a top Sony lawyer taking ''most of the bite'' out of the film ''for legal reasons with the NFL.''

In a statement to The Associated Press, ''Concussion'' director Peter Landesman disputed that report. He called his film, in which Smith plays the forensic pathologist who discovered that chronic brain damage factored in the deaths of NFL players, ''a David and Goliath story.''

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''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,'' said Landesman. ''Anyone who sees the movie will know that it never once compromises the integrity and the power of the real story.''

The NFL and Sony Pictures had no immediate comment.