Will Smith will return to the big screen later this year, starring as Richard Williams in the new film King Richard. Richard Williams is the father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, and the trailer of King Richard was released on Wednesday. The movie will hit theatres and HBO Max on November 19.
According to the synopsis: "Two-time Oscar nominee Will Smith (Ali, The Pursuit of Happyness, Bad Boys for Life) stars as Richard, under the direction of Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men). Driven by a clear vision of their future and using unconventional methods, Richard has a plan that will take Venus and Serena Williams from the streets of Compton, California to the global stage as legendary icons. The profoundly moving film shows the power of family, perseverance and unwavering belief as a means to achieve the impossible and impact the world."
The cast of King Richard includes Aunjanue Ellis, who plays the Williams sister's mother, Oracene "Brandi" Williams. Saniyya Sidney stars as Venus Williams, Demi Singleton, stars as Serena Williams and Tony Goldwyn stars as coach Paul Cohen. The cast also features Jon Berthnal as coach Rick Macci, Andy Bear, Kevin Dunn and Craig Tate.
King Richard was close to not being released on HBO Max. Deadline reported in December that King Richard nearly went to Netflix instead of being a theatrical release. "Smith's deal expressly calls for a theatrical only release, sources say, and while he became the first big star to sign one of those $30 million Netflix salary + pre-negotiated back end deals several years ago on Bright, Warner Bros. only won the vigorous King Richard auction because its makers and the family of Venus and Serena Williams wanted to see the underdog story of their father Richard play on the big screen," the outlet reported.
Richard Williams played a huge role in Venus and Serena's career. Venus, 41, is one of the successful tennis players in history, winning seven Grand Slam singles titles, 14 Grand Slam doubles titles and five Olympic medals. Serena, 39, has won more Grand Slam singles titles than another player in the Open Era of tennis with 23. She has also won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles and four Olympic medals.