Will Smith will play Richard Williams, the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, in the movie “King Richard.”
The film, based on a script by Zach Baylin, will center on Richard Williams overcoming hardship, skepticism, controversy, and his own troubled past to instruct his daughters, starting when they were four years old on the tennis courts of Compton, Calif. — despite not having a background in tennis. Baylin’s script was runner-up on the 2018 Black List.
Serena has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, starting with the US Open in 1999. Venus has seven Grand Slam singles, starting with Wimbledon in 2000. The sisters have combined for 14 Grand Slam doubles championships.
Tim and Trevor White will produce under their Star Thrower Entertainment banner, which has backed “The Post,” “Wind River,” and “Ingrid Goes West.” Smith will also produce under his Overbrook Entertainment company. The executive producers include Allan Mandelbaum from Star Thrower Entertainment and Caleeb Pinkett from Overbrook Entertainment. The co-producers include Mary Solomon and Rick Rickertsen.
Smith is currently in production on “Bad Boys for Life,” the third installment of the “Bad Boys” franchise. Variety exclusively reported last week that he would not return as Deadshot for the the next installment in Warner Bros.’ “Suicide Squad” franchise.
Smith is represented by CAA. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.