According to Deadline, Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan) and Susie Abromeit (Jessica Jones) have joined the cast of King Richard, the upcoming Venus & Serena Williams biopic featuring Will Smith (Aladdin) as the tennis stars’ father Richard Williams. Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) also stars, whilst Saniyya Sidney (Fences) and Demi Singleton (Godfather of Harlem) will portray the aforementioned sisters.
Schreiber will play real-life tennis coach Paul Cohen, who worked with well-known tennis legends such as John McEnroe and Pete Sampras. Bromeit will play New York Times reporter Robin Finn.
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Williams, who had no tennis background, overcame tremendous hardship, skepticism, and his own troubled past to raise two of the game’s greatest players. When his daughters were around the age of four, Richard Williams drew up a 78-page plan for their professional tennis careers. He began giving them tennis lessons and the girls learned the game on cracked, weedy public courts in Compton, reportedly after their father brawled with young toughs who were not fans of the sport and would not make way. The Williams sisters went on to become two of the greatest female players in tennis history, with Serena arguably the best ever, with 23 Grand Slam tournament wins. Venus Williams has won seven Grand Slam titles.
The sisters began to assert themselves as Serena won the US Open in 1999 and Venus beat Lindsay Davenport to win the 2000 Wimbledon title. After that victory, Richard shouted “Straight Outta Compton!” (in reference to a song by N.W.A based on that area in Los Angeles) and jumped over the NBC broadcasting booth, catching Chris Evert by surprise and performing a triumphant dance.
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Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men) will direct the pic. Tim White and Trevor Write (The Post, Wind River, Ingrid Goes West) will produce King Richard via their Star Thrower Entertainment banner. Smith will also produce through his Overbrook Entertainment banner. Allan Mandelbaum and Caleeb Pinkett will serve as executive producers with Mary Solomon and Rick Rickertsen co-producing.
King Richard is set to hit theaters on November 25, 2020.