'King Richard' Trailer: Will Smith Plays the Father (and Coach) of Venus and Serena Williams

The story of Venus and Serena Williams gets the big screen treatment with King Richard. But this upcoming flick isn’t technically a Venus and Serena biopic. Instead, the film focuses on their childhood, and how they rose to greatness with the help of their father and coach Richard Williams, played by Will Smith. The first King Richard trailer just arrived, and it showcases Smith really going for it, stepping outside of his comfort zone to ACT, complete with a change of voice. Don’t be surprised if Warner Bros. pushes this one – and Smith – for awards season attention.

King Richard Trailer 

The story of Venus and Serena Williams is told through the eyes of their father in King Richard, a new film from director Reinaldo Marcus Green. Will Smith plays Richard Williams, while Saniyya Sidney is Venus Williams and Demi Singleton is Serena Williams. The cast also includes Jon Bernthal, Tony Goldwyn, and Dylan McDermott.

While Smith’s Richard and his support and coaching is the focus here, Bernthal is playing Rick Macci, “the famed tennis coach who made a deal with Richard Williams to train his daughters, this after watching them at the tender ages of nine and 10 and immediately seeing the potential for speed, power and competitiveness the precocious girls brought to the courts. It was Macci’s task to hone and polish that talent while allowing the girls to be kids.”

Celebrate Someone’s Legacy

This is a solid trailer, and I like it when Smith steps outside his usual persona and turns in something different (see also: Ali). Smith shared the trailer to his own personal YouTube page, and wrote: “One of the greatest honors as an actor is to be able to celebrate someone’s legacy while they’re still here creating it. I’ve gotten to do it a few times in my career playing Chris Gardner and Muhammad Ali, and every time it’s a fulfilling and expansive experience beyond compare… So now, I’m proud to show you all our first trailer for King Richard, the story of the man who introduced the world to Venus Williams and Serena Williams. The origin story for some REAL DEAL superheroes!! Thank You Venus, Serena, Isha, Lyndrea.”

All that said, there’s a part of me that continues to find it weird that the first Venus and Serena Williams movie is more focused on their father than the legendary athletes themselves. But that doesn’t mean the film isn’t worth checking out when it arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on November 19, just in time for awards season.

Here’s a synopsis:

Based on the true story that will inspire the world, “King Richard” follows the journey of Richard Williams, an undeterred father instrumental in raising two of the most extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time, who will end up changing the sport of tennis forever. 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. “King Richard” is a profoundly moving film that shows the power of family, perseverance and unwavering belief as a means to achieve the impossible and impact the world. 

King Richard highlights one father’s relentless drive and unapologetic vision to change the game. Determined to do things his way, Richard Williams made a plan and defied the odds by raising not one, but two of the greatest athletes of all time: Venus and Serena Williams (who executive produced the film alongside their sister Isha Price).

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