Emma Stone Set to Star as Billie Jean King in Fox Searchlight’s ‘Battle of the Sexes’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Emma Stone has closed a deal to play tennis pro Billie Jean King in Fox Searchlight’s “Battle of the Sexes,” sources tell Variety.

Steve Carell is currently set to play Bobby Riggs in the sports drama.

Although Stone has been the top contender for the role for some time, earlier in the year, her busy schedule came close to derailing the deal — to the point where Searchlight began courting Brie Larson to play King instead. Stone’s schedule has now been worked out to allow her to star in “Battle of the Sexes,” while Larson has moved on to Lionsgate’s “The Glass Castle.”

“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 competition between King and Riggs captured the zeitgeist back in 1973, when at 29, the No. 2 ranked King 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 are HBO and Playtone’s “Proof,” which stars Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti, and Chernin Entertainment and Gary Sanchez’s “Match Maker” with Steve Conrad writing and Will Ferrell attached to play Riggs.

Stone can be seen next in Lionsgate’s “La La Land,” which reteams her with her “Crazy Stupid Love” co-star Ryan Gosling. She is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Ziffren Brittenham.

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