Will Smith to star as ‘King Richard’ in film about Venus and Serena Williams

Tennis

Can it be Nov. 19 already?

In a powerful new trailer for the upcoming film “King Richard,” Warner Bros. revealed that Will Smith is set to play Richard Williams, father to tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams.

According to the studio, the movie will focus on the upbringing of the two transcendent athletes (played by Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton) through the lens of “an undeterred father” with a “relentless drive and unapologetic vision to change the game.” The film also stars Aunjanue Ellis (HBO’s “Lovecraft Country”) as Oracene “Brandi” Williams, Richard’s wife and mother to Serena and Venus, Tony Goldwyn (ABC’s “Scandal”) as coach Paul Cohen and Jon Bernthal (“Baby Driver”) as coach Rick Macci.

Venus and Serena — along with their sister, Isha Price — are executive producers on the film that casts a light on their unprecedented journey from Compton, California to tennis superstardom, and on the father that played a pivotal role in their unparalleled success.

“I wrote a 78-page plan for their whole career before they were even born,” Richard says in the trailer, along with tearfully conveying to Venus and Serena, “You’re going to be representing every little Black girl on Earth.”

The film is Smith’s first major release since the 2020 sequel “Bad Boys For Life” and directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green (“Monsters and Men”). It will mark the actor’s second time playing a real-life sports figure, as he nabbed an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the legendary Muhammad Ali in Michael Mann’s “Ali” (2001).

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