One of the most famous sporting events in our history is the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Dubbed the “Battle of the Sexes”, the match between King (world number one at the time) and Riggs (an ex-champ plagued by gambling) served as something that resonated far beyond the tennis court. After more than four decades since, we are finally getting a chance to see this historical story on the big screen. And with production beginning on Battle of the Sexes, we now have our first look at its Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.
The film is being helmed by Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, and stars Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs. The idea of seeing Stone and Carell in these roles playing off one another is just tantalizing. Individually, they are two of the top names in the business, both being honored for roles in recent memory. So bringing them together for this kind of biopic is nothing short of amazing.
As for Dayton and Faris, the married directing-duo see the irony in directing a film with this title, but say that they just had to make it:
The irony isn’t lost on us that we are a husband-and-wife team directing the Battle of the Sexes. As soon as we read Simon’s script we knew we had to make this film. We feel so fortunate to have gathered such an amazing group of artists, both behind and in front of camera.
Behind Stone and Carell, the film bolsters a quite impressive cast, including Elisabeth Shue, Sarah Silverman, Alan Cumming, Andrea Riseborough, and Bill Pullman. Battle of the Sexes has a yet unspecified 2017 released date.
The electrifying 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became the most watched televised sports event of all time. The match caught the zeitgeist and sparked a global conversation on gender equality, spurring on the feminist movement. Trapped in the media glare, King and Riggs were on opposites sides of a binary argument, but off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. With a supportive husband urging her to fight the Establishment for equal pay, the fiercely private King was also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, while Riggs gambled his legacy and reputation in a bid to relive the glories of his past. Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis courts and animated the discussions between men and women in bedrooms and boardrooms around the world.