×

Brie Larson in Talks to Play Billie Jean King in ‘Battle of the Sexes’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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.”

Popular on Variety

She is repped by WME and Authentic.

More Film

  • The 40-Year-Old Version

    'The 40-Year-Old Version': Film Review

    In Radha Blank’s semi-autobiographical comedy “The 40-Year-Old Version,” it’s been more than a decade since the Harlem-based playwright earned a promising “30 Under 30” award, and now, instead of getting her work produced, she’s teaching drama to half a dozen high school students. Tastemakers are constantly looking for the hot new thing, but all these [...]

  • Pamela Tola

    Göteborg: Pamela Tola Proves There is an Audience for Different Stories

    GÖTEBORG, Sweden —  Chosen to close the discussion dedicated to discrimination against elderly people at the Göteborg Film Festival, Pamela Tola’s “Ladies of Steel” fitted right into this year’s focus on feminism and gender at the Swedish event. Which managed to deliver on its 50/50 promise, with 54% of the presented films being directed by [...]

  • Shirley Chen and Jose Angeles appear

    'Beast Beast': Film Review

    Writer-director Danny Madden’s “Beast Beast” clatters to life with organic percussion: a stick rat-a-tatting against an iron fence, a skateboard scraping on concrete, a rifle pinging bullets against a defenseless tin plate. Together, these sounds combine into jazz, despite the discordance of the three teens making such a ruckus. Krista (Shirley Chen), the stick thwacker, [...]

  • Sundance: PBS POV Acquires Kenyan Doc

    Sundance: PBS POV Acquires Kenyan Doc ‘Softie’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    PBS’s documentary arm POV has snapped up U.S. broadcast rights for Kenyan director Sam Soko’s “Softie,” fresh off its world premiere in the World Documentary Cinema competition at Sundance, Variety has learned. The film, which is the first Kenyan-produced movie to premiere at the festival, will air as part of the series’ 33rd season, which kicks [...]

  • Will Smith as Mike Lowrey in

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Rules Over 'The Gentlemen'

    STX’s “The Gentlemen” proved no match for Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life,” which again left box office competitors in the dust after collecting $34 million in its sophomore outing. Those ticket sales, pushing the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-led sequel past the $100 million mark, were easily enough to claim the No. 1 spot for [...]

  • Kajillionaire

    'Kajillionaire': Film Review

    The world is a weird place. Miranda July knows that, but the rest of us sometimes forget. Or maybe we just don’t want to admit how bizarre it is that society more or less agrees that back rubs and hot tubs and flavored chips and McRibs are an appropriate reward for a bazillion years of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content