‘King Richard’ Gives Us an Emotional Look Into Venus, Serena Williams’ Backstory
Photo Credit: John G Mabanglo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
If you think you know all there is to know about tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams, think again.
The trailer for the film King Richard dropped on Wednesday and features Will Smith as the driven and persistent father of the athlete sisters, Richard Williams.
In King Richard, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, Williams is reportedly portrayed as “an undeterred father” with a “relentless drive and unapologetic vision to change the game” who is “instrumental in raising two of the most extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time, who will end up changing the sport of tennis forever," as per Warner Brothers.
The trailer follows Williams as he brings up two young girls from Compton, California, to perform on the global stage. Venus and Serena are portrayed by Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton respectively while Aunjanue Ellis plays Oracene “Brandi” Williams. Tony Goldwyn plays coach Paul Cohen and Jon Bernthal portrays coach Rick Macci.
“I wrote a 78-page plan for their whole career before they were even born,” says Smith as Williams at one point in the trailer, emotionally telling his girls: “You’re going to be representing every little Black girl on earth.”
Another scene has Bernthal's Macci (who also coached the Wiliams sisters) telling Smith's character: "I think you might just have the next Michael Jordan."
To which Smith replies: "Oh no, brother man, I gots me the next two."
Serena Williams has spoken publicly about her father's impact on her life, telling NBC Sports a few years ago that "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," she shared of their relationship, before adding that his ideas "changed sports" and "history.”
The film about the now 79-year-old Williams patriarch is slated for release Nov. 19 and will stream on HBO Max for 31 days following its theatrical release.