Rising star Brie Larson is in talks to play Billie Jean King in Fox Searchlight’s “Battle of the Sexes,” Variety has learned.
Steve Carell is currently set to play Bobby Riggs in the tennis drama. Larson would replace Emma Stone, who had to pass on the role due to a scheduling conflict.
“Little Miss Sunshine” filmmakers Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris will direct from a script by Simon Beaufoy. Danny Boyle is producing under his Decibel Films banner along with Christian Colson and his company Cloud Eight.
The story of King and Riggs became a zeitgeist event back in 1973, when the 29-year-old No. 2 ranked female star rose to the challenge and beat the 55-year-old retired former Wimbledon champion Riggs.
“Battle of the Sexes” is one of three projects revolving around the infamous tennis match, the other two being the HBO and Playtone pic “Proof” that has Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti starring and Chernin Entertainment and Gary Sanchez’s “Match Maker” with Steve Conrad writing and Will Ferrell attached to play Riggs.
Larson, who last year broke out with indie hit “Short Term 12,” is red hot after her new film “Room” debuted to Oscar buzz at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals. She also has the female lead in “Kong: Skull Island” and just wrapped the Ben Wheatley drama “Free Fire.”
She is repped by WME and Authentic.