One of the three(!) Billie Jean King projects in development found its directors and stars yesterday.
Husband-and-wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (“Little Miss Sunshine,” “Ruby Sparks”) will helm “Battle of the Sexes,” a dramatization — as if any more drama were necessary — of the famed 1973 tennis match in which a 29-year-old King handily defeated the 55-year-old former Wimbledon champion Bobby Riggs. Emma Stone will star as King, while Steve Carell will play Riggs.
Produced by Fox Searchlight, “Battle of the Sexes” is expected to be a “comedy with dramatic and political overtones, handled in the quirky, warm and engaging way that ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ was,” according to Deadline. Scheduled for a 2016 release, the project will compete with a HBO movie on the same subject starring Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti as King and Riggs, as well as a comedy starring Will Ferrell as Riggs titled “Match Maker.”
As we noted before, the 1973 game was certainly when the spotlight was brightest on King, but she’s had such a long and varied career on both the court and the frontlines of gay activism that we can’t help wishing there could be a fuller biopic about the tennis icon’s extraordinary life.