Hollywood icon Will Smith is poised to play Richard Williams, father of tennis champs Serena and Venus Williams, in an upcoming film, Deadline reports.
Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment has partnered with Star Thrower Entertainment to produce a movie titled King Richard, based on Williams’s life and the challenges he faced raising and coaching two gifted athletes despite having no experience with the sport. At the heart of the story is the 78-page plan the patriarch made when his daughters were little girls, which helped transform them into the global superstars they are today.
One Twitter user reacted to news of Smith playing Williams by noting “Already an Oscar nomination for his role in this movie”
EXCLUSIVE: Will Smith is poised to play Richard Williams, father of tennis icons Serena and Venus Williams https://t.co/JLDDCzOXxa
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) March 4, 2019
Many agreed with user @AmirTalai who wrote: “Why is there a movie called King Richard but not a movie called Queen Serena or Queen Venus?”
Why is there a movie called King Richard but not a movie called Queen Serena or Queen Venus?
— Amir Talai (@AmirTalai) March 5, 2019
But others aren’t feeling Smith in the role, with many, like user @sandiesideup wondering, “Mahershala Ali isn’t available???”
Mahershala Ali isn’t available???
— sandiesideup ? (@sandiesideup) March 4, 2019
Williams began training his young daughters on the courts in Compton, Calif., and his 78-page plan served as a guide for their professional careers. By the time they reached ages 14 and 15, their proud papa was already telling the world about his daughter’s plans for world domination.
Back in 2017, Venus told The Philadelphia Tribune that “It goes without saying what my dad has done for Serena and I, and changing the game of tennis, and for what he’s done for the sport, too. I’m forever grateful. I’m so excited for his honor,” she said of his induction into the American Tennis Association Hall of Fame.
One of the best displays of Williams’ devotion to his daughters is seen in a clip of 14-year-old Venus being interviewed and her father checks the reporter who attempts to rain on her unwavering self-esteem.
“You’ve got to understand that you’re dealing with the image of a 14-year-old child. And this child is going to be out there playing when your old ass and me are going to be in the grave,” Williams said to the reporter. “When she say something, we done tell you what’s happening. You’re dealing with a little black kid and you let her be a kid. She done answered it with a lot of confidence. Leave that alone.”
This video of Richard Williams defending Venus’s confidence when she was 14 yr old is the best video on the internet pic.twitter.com/NqnCRJsLLf
— Disco Ric (@RicWilson) August 29, 2018