Sport films are a rich territory for high emotions. Brian’s Song… Field of Dreams… Moneyball… Remember The Titans… Warrior… it’s a hallowed cinematic pantheon which has traditionally provided the stoniest operators a perfect reason to shed some tears. And soon enough, this very pantheon may have a new inductee in King Richard, starring Will Smith as Richard Williams – father / mentor / coach to tennis superstars, Serena and Venus Williams.
Depicting the real-life mythology of Richard Williams, an “undeterred father” dedicated to raising transcendent athletes who would eventually change the landscape of tennis forever, King Richard will follow the journey of the family patriarch and prodigious Williams sisters from their humble beginnings in Compton, all the way to their rise as global phenoms. Already, based on the preview dropped this morning, many can smell Oscar gold.
“I wrote a 78-page plan for their whole career before they were even born,” Smith can be heard saying in the trailer.
“You’re going to be representing every little Black girl on Earth.”
Will Smith is joined by Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton as Venus and Serena Williams, respectively. Aunjanue Ellis has taken on the role of Oracene “Brandi” Williams, mother to the girls. Tony Goldwyn, on the other hand, portrays Coach Paul Cohen, while the one and only Jon Bernthal portrays the legendary Coach Rick Macci – a figure renowned for training a total of five #1 tennis players in addition to the Williams sisters (Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, Jennifer Capriati).
“If I were playing a baseball player, it’d be deeply important to me that baseball players would say, “This guy looks like a baseball player.” At least as close as I could get to that point,” Jon Bernthal revealed to BH exclusively during a recent interview promoting Taylor Sheridan’s Those Who Wish Me Dead.
“I play a tennis player in a new movie called King Richard which is coming out, I trained extensively in tennis (I never played before).”
The upcoming biopic has been directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, who has most notably helmed Monsters & Men, Joe Bell, as well as a few episodes of hit British crime drama series, Top Boy. Zach Baylin – who is also writing Creed III as we speak – has penned the screenplay, and Robert Elswit has accomplished the cinematography (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, The Town).
King Richard is currently scheduled to hit Aussie cinemas on November 18th of 2021 – check out the first trailer above.