Los Angeles, CA – Tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams’ athletic excellence has manifested through tenacity, resolve, preternatural talent — and the undying support of their father, Richard Williams. The unsung hero behind their outsized success, Williams will finally have his story told in the upcoming biopic, King Richard — played by Will Smith.
Reported in a Deadline exclusive Monday (March 4th), the project is currently only at the spec script stage — written by Zach Baylin — but has secured interest from Tim White and Trevor White who will produce King Richard under their Star Thrower Entertainment production company; Will Smith’s production company, Overbrook Entertainment (I Am Legend and Seven Pounds), will also be involved.
While the Williams sisters’ on-court triumphs have been well-documented throughout their storied careers — totaling a collective 30 Grand Slam victories — knowledge of their father’s foundational coaching presence has largely been sidelined — until now.
Without any prior tennis knowledge, Richard Williams composed a 78-page plan to help his then approximately four-year-old daughters achieve professional tennis success. At that age — despite allegedly having to fight-off unapproving neighborhood youths to gain court time — he began coaching Venus and Serena on the inferior courts of their Compton residence. Despite the substandard playing conditions, Richard Williams equipped his daughters with the tools and mentality to become champions.
The rest is history.
Years later, and Serena and Venus are regarded as two of the sport’s most impactful players; the former currently holds the Open Era record with 23 Grand Slam titles.
An unassuming coach, Richard Williams didn’t require fancy equipment or training to mold his daughters into legends. With the assistance of the Academy-nominated Will Smith, fans will finally receive an intimate look at Williams’ untold story.