Emma Stone will portray tennis great Billie Jean King in the sports comedy Battle of the Sexes. Steve Carell will play the role of retired Wimbledon champion Bobby Riggs, who squared off against King in a much-hyped exhibition match in 1973.
The highly publicized match between the 29-year-old King and the 55-year-old Riggs, was epic, not only in the world of sports, but also in the societal context of the women’s rights movement, which had been gaining momentum. Social relevance combined with the exceptional popularity of the game during this era to make the match a must-see event.
The story remains hot enough to inspire numerous projects. Other films centering on the match currently in the works include Proof, starring Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti, and Match Maker starring Will Ferrell as Riggs.
Battle of the Sexes is being directed by frequent collaborators Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, best known for their work on the quirky comedy Little Miss Sunshine.
The script was written by prominent screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, famous for Slumdog Millionaire, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the star-studded adventure movie Everest.
Carell has experience with biographical sports pics, having co-starred in the 2014 wrestling drama Foxcatcher. He will next be seen starring alongside Brad Pitt in The Big Short, debuting Dec. 23.
Stone’s next picture is the musical dramedy La La Land, in which she reunites with Ryan Gosling.