Will Smith to play Venus and Serena Williams’ father in King Richard
Will Smith is set to play Venus Williams and Serena Williams’ father Richard Williams in ‘King Richard’.
The 50-year-old actor is to take on the role as the dad of the tennis greats in Zach Baylin’s new speculative screenplay which tells the story of Richard who, with no tennis experience, raised and developed the sisters to become legends of the sport.
There is no director attached as of yet and Venus, 38, and Serena, 37, aren’t among the producing team, which includes the ‘Suicide Squad’ star and his Overbrook Entertainment banner.
Richard, 77, trained the girls on the courts of Compton in Los Angeles from an early age and at the age of four drew up a 78-page plan for their professional careers.
The pair were still teenagers when Serena won the US Open in 1999 and Venus won Wimbledon in 2000.
Serena has gone on to win a total of 23 individual Grand Slam tournaments, whilst Venus has won seven Grand Slam titles.
The rest of the producing team consists of Tim White and Trevor Write through their Star Thrower Entertainment banner and Allan Mandelbaum and Caleeb Pinkett will serve as executive producers with Mary Solomon and Rick Rickertsen.
Speaking of her father’s influence on her life, Serena previously said: “He’s been the most important person in my career. I do miss my dad obviously. I miss him all the time.
“I call him. I try to reach out to him a lot. He calls me. He watches my matches. He still tells me things that I’m not doing right.
“It all started with an idea. It was his idea. It’s changed sports. It’s changed history.”