Will Smith Starrer ‘King Richard’ Finds Director

The long-awaited Warner Bros. movie ‘King Richard‘ starring Will Smith found its director in Reinaldo Marcus Green, who is known for his Sundance hit ‘Monsters and Men.’ ‘King Richard’ will feature Will Smith as the father of tennis legends and sisters Venus and Serena Williams, Richard Williams, reports Variety. Warner Bros. also announced that the movie will hit theaters on November 25, 2020. The studio won the rights to the movie after a neck-to-neck race with other bidders earlier this year.

The biographical movie is reportedly based on the true events in the life of Richard Williams whose determination and resilience played a crucial role in Williams sisters’ meteoric rise conquering new heights in Tennis history. Beginning from the cracked weedy courts in their hometown Compton, Calif, Richard had a plan for his talented daughters. He was unwavering in his scheme to make Venus and Serena the world’s best tennis players one day. Richard trained them according to his 78-page action plan to build up their professional careers through step-by-step Grand Slam wins and other titles.

Zach Baylin wrote the screenplay for ‘King Richard.’ Tim White and Trevor White will produce the movie for their banner Star Thrower along with James Lassiter of Overbrook Entertainment. Jada Pinkett Smith, Allan Mandelbaum and Caleeb Pinkett join the project as executive producers.

According to THR, Warners locked horns with the likes of Paramount, TriStar, MRC, and Barack and Michelle Obama’s Netflix-based Higher Ground Productions to win the project in a bidding war in March. All the majors were in hot pursuit of the package after Will Smith signed on to play the character of Richard Williams.

Green made his directorial debut with the 2018 movie ‘Monsters and Men,’ which was premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section at the Sundance Film Festival. It went on to become one of the biggest discoveries of the festival and garnered critical acclaim. The breakout movie also helped Green to lock a distribution deal with Neon, which released the movie in the U.S. on September 28, 2018. Green has also directed the first three episodes of the upcoming Netflix revival of the crime-drama series ‘Top Boy,’ which will hit the streaming platform in autumn 2019. His upcoming feature is ‘Good Joe Bell’ starring Mark Wahlberg and Connie Britton.

Will Smith hit headlines recently when he stepped away from the upcoming ‘Suicide Squad‘ sequel. The actor, who played the regular character of Deadshot in the franchise, confirmed his decision to skip the sequel citing schedule clashes. Smith’s upcoming movies include the highly-anticipated ‘Bad Boys for Life‘ alongside Martin Lawrence. His last outing, Disney’s live-action flick ‘Aladdin‘ earned Smith rave reviews and left the cash registers ringing with an overall gross of $600M.

Cover Image Courtesy: Warner Bros. (Focus)