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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Will Smith Plays Serena and Venus Williams' Father in the First Trailer for Biopic 'King Richard'

Set to hit cinemas in November, the film charts his influence over the superstar tennis duo's career since they were children.
By Sarah Ward
July 30, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
July 30, 2021
  shares

The first time that Will Smith was nominated for an Oscar, it was for dramatising Muhammad Ali's story in Ali. It's much, much, much too early to say if he'll get the nod for his latest stint as a sporting figure — no one has even seen his upcoming movie King Richard yet, after all — but Smith sure looks to be angling to add a few shiny trophies for his mantle. He plays someone familiar with watching other people pick up silverware, in fact, given that he's playing Richard Williams — father of superstar tennis champions Serena and Venus.

As the name makes plain, King Richard is all about the dad behind the ace-swinging duo, and his role in raising them, nurturing their talents and establishing their careers. When the girls first start showing their skills in Compton as children, neither Serena nor Venus nor Richard have any idea where their path will head. Viewers obviously do, but consider this the story behind the well-known story.

The tone: persistent, moving and inspirational, at least based on the just-dropped trailer for King Richard, ahead of its release Down Under in November. From the sneak peek, Smith plays Richard as determined, confident and hardworking. Told that he might have the next Michael Jordan on his hands, he replies that he actually has the next two.

Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men), the biopic thankfully sees Smith in a completely different mode to his last big-screen appearance — in the abysmal, terrible and grating Bad Boys for Life. In King Richard, he's joined by Saniyaa Sidney (Fences) and Demi Singleton (Godfather of Harlem) stars as Venus and Serena, plus Aunjanue Ellis (Lovecraft Country) as their mother Oracene 'Brandi' Williams. Also among the familiar faces: Jon Bernthal (Those Who Wish Me Dead) as coach Rick Macci and Tony Goldwyn (Scandal) as coach Paul Cohen.

Check out the trailer below:

King Richard will release in Australian cinemas on November 18.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

Published on July 30, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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