Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti will star as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in a HBO movie about the two tennis stars’ 1973 Battle of the Sexes. The 29-year-old King handily defeated the 55-year-old Riggs in a televised event watched by 50 million Americans.
The insulting rumor that Riggs threw the game in order to bet against himself and settle some gambling debts is the subject of a competing film about the historic Battle of the Sexes. “Match Maker” will star Will Ferrell.
There have been two previous films about the King-Riggs match: Jane Anderson’s 2001 TV movie called “When Billie Beat Bobby” starring Holly Hunter, and James Erskine and Zara Hayes’ 2013 documentary titled “The Battle of the Sexes.”
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.