Fox Searchlight has unveiled the first official trailer for their upcoming retelling of the famous 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Battle of the Sexes, stars Emma Stone as the women’s world number one tennis player, King, and Steve Carell as the former champion, Bobby Riggs. In what became the most watched television event of all time, King and Riggs battled it out on the court in what became known as the Battle of Sexes, as well as off the court, as the match sparked a global conversation of gender equality, spurring the feminist movement.
If you know the true story behind this film, you know the major kind of baggage it comes with. It wasn’t just about gender equality and a tennis match between a man and a woman. King was an incredibly private athlete who was thrust into the spotlight, fighting for equal pay. On the other side of it, Riggs, who had gambled his legacy away to try and relive the glory days, was intentionally vocal about his feelings towards women and where he thought they belonged. And the trailer does an insanely fantastic job of capturing exactly that.
I have a close tie to this specific event. In school, as a PE major, this is an event that comes up quite a bit. It sparks some serious conversations and this film will no doubt do the same. From the moment this film was announced with Stone and Carell attached, it was very high up on my list. Not just because the match back in ’73 was more entertaining than anything we have in the sport today, but because the implications it had. King, who did nothing but take the high road the entire time, was going up against one of the biggest ass-hats any sport had ever seen at the time. And to have actors like Stone and Carell, who have a history together, play opposite each other as these characters, how can you not be excited? I’m still very interested to see how much comedy to drama there is, but honestly, it has Oscar written all over it. And could possibly be another nomination for both Stone and Carell. What’s new?
Check out the first trailer below and after doing so, let me know what you think in the comments below. Do you remember the original match? Do you like the vibe of the trailer? Battle of the Sexes hits theaters on September 22nd, 2017 and stars Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Sarah Silverman, Andrea Riseborough, Elisabeth Shue, and Alan Cumming.
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.