Read the Screenplay, a new series from Deadline highlights the scripts of films that will be contenders in this year’s Oscar race.
Because of the bloodline he cultivated, Richard Williams became King Richard. In the Warner Bros. biopic, Will Smith plays the father of tennis superstars Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena Williams (Demi Singleton). Along with their sister Isha Price, the real Williams sisters serve as executive producers.
Richard drafted a 78-page plan to prepare his girls to be tennis champions before they were born. Venus and Serena used to practice in Compton when they were kids in the 1990s. The film depicts how they made the most of decrepit neighbourhood tennis courts while dealing with thugs that disrupted their practice.
Coaches and managers are approached by King Richard with videotapes of his daughters. Two of the characters that took a risk on Venus were Paul Cohen (Tony Goldwyn) and Rick Macci (Jon Bernthal). By 1994, she was competing against professionals. That’s when Richard decided to take a vacation from training with Macci in Florida to focus on her studies. She was already hooked on the sport at that point.
Meanwhile, Oracine (Aunjanue Ellis), Richard’s wife, continues to train Serena. The film touches on some of the family issues that Richard’s scheme produced, albeit history has proven that they were justified. Serena’s story ends before she became a pro, but it foreshadows how she will surpass even her sister’s achievements in the sport.
Director Reinaldo Marcus Green’s film, which premiered in cinemas and on HBO Max on November 19 following screenings at Telluride, BFI London, Chicago, and AFI Fest, among other autumn festivals, was written by Zach Baylin.
The screenplay by Baylin has been nominated for a Critics Choice Award. Smith’s performance garnered him a Golden Globe nomination and a SAG Award nomination today; the ensemble was also nominated for a Cast award by the actors guild.
Will Smith Needs an Oscar Nomination so does the film.