Will Ferrell to Star in Tennis Drama About 1973 Battle of the Sexes Match (EXCLUSIVE)

Will Ferrell Billy Jean King Movie
Gregg Felsen/WireImage

Steve Conrad is attached to adapt the script

Having already taken on roles set in the world of semi-pro basketball and little league soccer, actor and sports fan Will Ferrell looks ready to hit the tennis courts for his next sports-themed pic.

Ferrell is attached to star in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” scribe Steve Conrad’s “Match Maker,” which is about tennis’ legendary battle of the sexes match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping will produce via their Chernin Entertainment banner, along with Ferrell and Adam McKay through their Gary Sanchez Productions shingle. Chernin Entertainment senior VP David Ready and Gary Sanchez’s Jessica Elbaum will also produce.

Based on Don Van Natta Jr.’s ESPN.com article, “The Match Maker: Bobby Riggs, the Mafia and the Battle of the Sexes,” the story follows the high profile rivalry between the two tennis pros and their iconic 1973 tennis match. The match was watched by 50 million Americans, who tuned in to see whether a 29-year-old female King could beat the retired 55-year-old Riggs.

Ferrell is well known for being a major sports fan and is regularly seen on the sidelines of a USC football game or courtside for a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game. According to insiders, it was his passion for tennis that gave Chernin the idea to pursue him for the role of Riggs.

Conrad is currently in pre-production on an untitled John Belushi biopic starring Emile Hirsch. He is repped by CAA and the Collective.

Ferrell was last seen in Paramount’s “Anchorman 2: the Legend Continues” and “The Lego Movie” and is currently shooting the Warner Bros. comedy “Get Hard” with Kevin Hart. He is repped by CAA and Mosaic.

Chernin has a handful of films set to bow this year, including “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and the Fox Searchlight mob pic “The Drop.”

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  1. Robbie Goldstein says:

    I don’t see where you mention Ms
    KING’S first name. Isn’t that appropriate to do.

  2. Jerry says:

    Will Ferrell pay be able to pull it off. While I like some of his comedies, maybe a drama might be what he needs to expand his career.

  3. cadavra says:

    Oh, swell, now they’re remaking TV-movies. When will it ever end? (Note: Rhetorical question.)

  4. Davyjc says:

    It would be nice if they would consider a woman director or co-producer in this project. Billy Jean King did beat Bobby Riggs.

    • Van Iblis says:

      LOL. She “beat” a 50 year-old chain smoker who was paid to take a dive. You want a real battle of the sexes result? Google how a man ranked in the 200s smoked Serena Williams 6-1 6-1 in a match (which was after he admittedly had a few beers before the match).

  5. Miles Maker says:

    Hey Justin:

    Could you at least mention the name of the ‘female champion’ being Margaret Court or more notably Billie Jean King? Respect.

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