Greatness doesn’t come without sacrifice in the first trailer for King Richard, which stars Will Smith as the manager, coach, and irrepressible father to young tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. The Warner Bros. film debuts in theaters and on HBO Max November 19th.
Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men), King Richard explores an origin story as gripping as anything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the added bonus that these two superhumans actually exist. Practicing on the run-down tennis courts of Compton, California, Richard relentlessly pushed Venus and Serena into becoming two of the winningest tennis players of their generation, with Serena emerging as the most dominant American athlete since Michael Jordan.
King Richard puts the emphasis on their occasionally maddening, undoubtedly effective dad. “I wrote me a 78-page plan for their whole career before they was even born,” Richard says in the new trailer. And as the girls overcome the doubters and face racist scrutiny, Richard takes their triumphs and stumbles personally. “This world ain’t never had no respect for Richard Williams,” he tells his daughter. “But they gonna respect y’all.”
King Richard comes with a script by Zach Baylin and co-stars Saniyya Sidney (Hidden Figures) and Demi Singleton as Venus and Serena Williams. Aunjanue Ellis, Jon Bernthal, Tony Goldwyn, and Dylan McDermott help round out the cast. Check out the trailer below.
On November 9th, ten days before this biopic holds court, Will Smith will release his first autobiography, Will. He’s been doing a lot of reflecting on his past lately; last year, Smith and the cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunited for a special on HBO Max.