Will Smith To Play Father Of Serena And Venus Williams In New Biopic

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Will Smith has been cast as the role of Richard Williams, father of tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams, in a new film based on his life.

Entitled King Richard, the movie will focus on Williams overcoming hardship, skepticism and his own troubled past in order to coach his two daughters – despite not having a background in tennis, reports Variety. The story, based on a script by Zach Baylin, starts when the girls are around four and five years old on the tennis courts of Compton, California.

Richard with daughters Venus and Serena at the tennis courts in Compton in 1991
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According to Deadline, Williams wrote a 78-page plan charting his daughters’ professional tennis careers when they were four, and would fight off local kids who weren’t using the courts to play tennis so that they could practice.

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The sisters went on to have monumental careers and are arguably two of the most successful tennis players in history; Venus, now 38, has won seven Grand Slam titles, while Serena, who turns 38 later this year, has taken home 23, starting with the US Open in 1999. When Venus won Wimbledon in 2000, her father reportedly jumped out of the stands shouting “Straight ‘outta Compton!” and performed a victory dance.

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King Richard will be produced by Tim and Trevor White, who also backed The PostWind River and Ingrid Goes West, under their Star Entertainment banner. Will Smith is set to co-produce under his Overbrook Entertainment company.

From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK