Will Smith is certainly no stranger to the Sports Drama world. The revered actor portrayed boxing icon Muhammad Ali in 2001’s Ali and went on to receive a nod from the academy. In 2015’s Concussion, Smith took on the role of forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu who discovered CTE in many athletes, and like always, he knocked it out of the park.
Now fans are eagerly awaiting the former Fresh Prince star’s latest role and this one just might land him his first academy award.
Smith will portray the determined father of tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams in the forthcoming film King Richard. Richard Williams undoubtedly played an instrumental role in shaping both Venus and Serena into the coveted athletes we know today. From pushing them to their limits in practice to coaching them on how to interact with the press off the court, the film depicts “an undeterred father instrumental in raising two of the most extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time, who will end up changing the sport of tennis forever,” the bio for the film reads.
In the trailer, viewers get a glimpse into the life of the Williams family’s upbringing in Compton, California. A later clip show’s Richard talking to Demi Singleton –who plays Serena in the film– about the impact she can make as a young black girl breaking barriers in the tennis world.
“This next step you about to take, you not gonna be just representing you, you’re gonna be representing every little Black girl on Earth,” he says.
“I’m not gonna let you down,” Singleton replies.
Saniyya Sidney will depict Venus Williams and Aunjanue Ellis will star as the girl’s mother Oracene “Brandi” Williams.
During an interview for O Magazine in 2003, Serena recalled how their father and mother learned tennis in order to help them improve their skills.
“Our father doesn’t get enough credit. He showed us how to serve—and we have the biggest serves in women’s tennis,” she explained. “He stayed up many nights watching films so he could teach us. He taught our mom, and then they taught us,” she added. “It’s a lot of work. It doesn’t happen miraculously.”
King Richard is set to hit theaters on Nov. 19 and will stream on HBO Max. Will you be watching?