April 20, 2015 at 10:12 pm #185492
Game, Set Match? Searchlight Serves Up ‘Battle Of The Sexes;’ Dayton & Faris Direct Emma Stone As Billie Jean King, Steve Carell As Bobby Riggs
by Mike Fleming Jr April 20, 2015 12:30pm
Image Courtest of ABC Sports
EXCLUSIVE: A surprise entry in the race to mount the seminal film about the gender battle tennis match that scored the highest TV ratings since the Moon Landing: Fox Searchlight has set a fall start for Battle Of The Sexes, with Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris directing Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs. Simon Beaufoy wrote the script and the film’s being produced by Danny Boyle through his Decibel Films and Christian Colson through his Cloud Eight banner. That gives Searchlight a project with as good a prestige pedigree as you’re going to find, by the makers of some of Searchlight’s biggest hits: Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours (Beaufoy, Boyle, Colson), Little Miss Sunshine (Dayton & Faris and Carell) and Birdman (Stone). Beaufoy (who also scripted the FS hit The Full Monty) has quietly been working several years on the script, with cooperation from King (Riggs died in 1995). It is ready to go.
This puts Searchlight in fine shape against two rival projects. HBO and Playtone just set Proof scribe David Auburn to write one that has Elizabeth Banks to play King and Paul Giamatti playing Riggs. Chernin Entertainment and Gary Sanchez are percolating the film Match Maker with Steve Conrad writing and Will Ferrell attached to play Riggs.
Battle of the Sexes will be ready for release in 2016, when the public will likely again be focused on the subject of gender and what a woman is capable of. Hillary Clinton should be full swing into her campaign to re-enter the White House, this time as president. The story of King and Riggs became a zeitgeist event back in 1973, when the 29-year old No. 2 ranked female star rose to the challenge and beat the 55-year old retired former Wimbledon champion Riggs.
The film will be presented as a comedy with dramatic and political overtones, handled in the quirky warm and engaging way that Little Miss Sunshine was. King and Riggs became the representatives for their gender, even though each was a complicated person trying to figure out their place in the world. At that time, they had to do it under the glare of an unprecedented media spotlight.
WME reps Boyle, Carell, Stone and King; Dayton & Faris are repped by UTA.April 21, 2015 at 5:26 am #185494
Interesting to see another film in the works about this but Emma Stone doesnt exactly scream King to me.April 21, 2015 at 6:44 am #185495
Interesting to see another film in the works about this but Emma Stone doesnt exactly scream King to me.
Exactly what I was thinking! I can kind of picture her doing an SNL style parody of her, but that’s not what we need in the film. Similarly, I don’t like the idea of Ferrell playing Riggs, unless he uses the subtlety of Stranger Than Fiction. The only pairing I could really get behind was the Giamatti/Banks pairing, which seemed like it could really work well.April 21, 2015 at 7:22 am #185496
[quote=”vinman422″]Interesting to see another film in the works about this but Emma Stone doesnt exactly scream King to me.
Exactly what I was thinking! I can kind of picture her doing an SNL style parody of her, but that’s not what we need in the film. Similarly, I don’t like the idea of Ferrell playing Riggs, unless he uses the subtlety of Stranger Than Fiction. The only pairing I could really get behind was the Giamatti/Banks pairing, which seemed like it could really work well.[/quote]
The SNL thing is pretty much my worry too. Also, (and I know this really doesnt matter) I feel like she doesnt look like her at all.April 21, 2015 at 7:32 am #185497
Is this the working title of this proposed film???? What a woman is capable of???? Uh-huh.
Billie Jean needs to ram her racket and ball down Rigg’es throat. She lost the match didnt she? Or is “lost” the right description?
Faris and Dayton could do a tasteful job of this proposal.
Or not. Hopefully it doesnt turn out to be a cliched mess full of women’s rights jingles.April 21, 2015 at 2:22 pm #185498
On paper, Emma Stone as Billie Jean King (“the” pioneer for female sports) is a terrible idea.
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