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

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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