“King Richard” ends with Queen Bey.
The rousing family drama about Richard Williams (Will Smith) and the lengths he went to help his daughters, tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams (played by breakout performers Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, respectively), become two of the most successful athletes of all time made its debut at the Telluride Film Festival on Thursday night and provided attendees with an unexpected surprise: an original song from Beyoncé.
Called “Be Alive,” the track plays at the end of the Reinaldo Marcus Green alongside footage of the real Williams family. The empowering anthem was co-written by Beyoncé and DIXSON. The single does not yet have an official release date but “King Richard” is set to debut on November 19 in theaters and via HBO Max.
Beyoncé has won multiple Grammy Awards and received numerous Emmy Award nominations as well. Despite some past contenders, such as the original song “Spirit” from “The Lion King,” she has never received an Oscar nomination.
The Telluride world premiere was the first opportunity audiences had to see the film, and it generated strong praise for Smith, co-stars Aunjanue Ellis and Jon Bernthal, and “King Richard” itself.
“I went into ‘King Richard’ knowing nothing about tennis or the Williams family. But I was completely captivated — by the story, the performances, the heart. Will Smith at his best, Aunjanue Ellis on fire, and breakout turn by young actors Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton,” Variety editor Jenelle Riley wrote on Twitter.
“Don’t remember ever choking up during a movie as much as I did during ‘King Richard.’ It’s the most amazing story, told so well,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter awards editor Scott Feinberg. “Will Smith is gonna be hard to beat. The film too.”
Smith is one of the top contenders for Best Actor according to Gold Derby users and experts. He has previously received two Best Actor nominations, both for playing real people. He was a nominee in 2002 for “Ali” and then again in 2007 for “The Pursuit of Happyness.”
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