Fox Searchlight has announced that its film “Battle of the Sexes” will open on September 22, 2017. The film tells the true story of the tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) that became a focal point in the debate about gender equality. The match took place in 1973, when King was also struggling to come to terms with her homosexuality and Riggs was fighting to relive his past glory days.
The film certainly has an awards-friendly pedigree. Stone just won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the musical romance “La La Land,” and Carell was previously nominated for Best Actor for his dark turn as a disturbed, homicidal millionaire in “Foxcatcher” (2014). “Battle of the Sexes” is directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who helmed the Oscar winning film “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006). And the screenwriter is “Slumdog Millionaire” Oscar champ Simon Beaufoy.
This isn’t the first time this story has been told on screen. It was previously made into a 2001 telefilm on ABC starring Ron Silver as Bobby Riggs and Holly Hunter as Billie Jean King. Hunter earned an Emmy nomination for Best Movie/Miniseries Actress for her performance, which might bode well for Stone’s chances of returning to the Oscars to defend her Best Actress title next year.
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