Will Smith stars as the real-life father of two of the most gifted athletes of all time in “King Richard.” Warner Bros. has released the first trailer of the moving drama that could be a box office hit and possible awards contender.
Inspired by a true story, “King Richard” tells the story of Richard Williams (Smith), an undeterred father who was instrumental in raising Venus and Serena Williams (Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton), two of the best tennis players in the world. Driven by a clear vision of the future, Richard executes a plan that moves the girls from the streets of Compton, Calif., to the global stage as sports icons.
From acclaimed director Reinaldo Marcus Green (“Monsters and Men”) and debut screenwriter Zach Baylin, the trailer showcases powerful emotional beats coming from Smith, including an emotional speech in which he states: “You will be representing every little Black girl on Earth.”
Will Smith has portrayed multiple real-life figures throughout his career, receiving two Oscar nominations in the process. His first nod was for his portrayal of the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali in Michael Mann’s “Ali” (2001). The other was for his turn as Chris Gardner, a struggling salesman who becomes homeless with his young son in Gabriele Muccino’s “The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006). In 2016, he was one of the central celebrities wrapped in the #OscarsSoWhite controversy when the Academy nominated all white actors for the second consecutive year. Despite nominations from the Golden Globes in best actor in a drama, Smith was snubbed for his performance as Dr. Bennett Omalu in Peter Landesman’s NFL brain damage drama, “Concussion” (2015). Smith, along with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, who also serves as an executive producer on “King Richard,” vowed to not attend the 2016 Oscars ceremony over the lack of diversity among that year’s nominees.
Fresh off the popular “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion” special that debuted on HBO Max last year, Smith also starred in “Bad Boys for Life,” which was the highest-grossing film of the 2020 pandemic year. His other upcoming projects include a role in Antoine Fuqua’s “Emancipation,” which is currently filming.
“King Richard” also stars Emmy nominee Aunjanue Ellis (HBO’s “Lovecraft Country”) as Brandy Williams, Richard’s wife and mother to Serena and Venus. She stars alongside Jon Bernthal (“Baby Driver”), Tony Goldwyn (ABC’s “Scandal”) and two-time Emmy nominee Dylan McDermott (ABC’s “The Practice” and Netflix’s “Hollywood”).
The film is produced by Smith, Tim White and Trevor White with Venus and Serena Williams serving as executive producers, alongside their sister Isha Price.
“King Richard” will be released in theaters in on Nov. 19 and on HBO Max via their ad-free plan for 31 days following theatrical release.
Watch the trailer below.