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‘King Richard’ trailer: See Will Smith as the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams

  • July 30, 2021

Will Smith steps out as Richard Williams, the game-changing father of legendary tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, in “King Richard,” which released its first trailer Wednesday.

Based on the true story, the movie follows Richard’s remarkable story as a fiercely determined father who employs unconventional methods to guide daughters Venus and Serena from the streets of Compton, California, to the global tennis stage, where the duo continue to dominate.

“King Richard” arrives Nov. 19 in theaters and on HBO Max. Venus and Serena Williams executive produced the film alongside their sister Isha Price. 

“This world never had no respect for Richard Williams, but they are going to respect y’all,” their father/mentor announces to Venus (played by Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (Demi Singleton).

The young tennis sensations get their introduction midway through the trailer as Richard brings them to the attention of dubious tennis coach Paul Cohen (Tony Goldwyn), who had worked with John McEnroe.

“So tell me your names again,” Cohen asks as they take the court.

“I’m Venus,” “I’m Serena,” the unknown tennis players, then 8 and 7, announce.

The two phenoms proceed to wow with their skills, as their journey to tennis immortality begins.

Who is Richard Williams?

The father of Venus and Serena Williams had a plan for his two daughters. Literally, it was a 78-page manifesto, written before they were born, mapping out their route to the top of the tennis world. He began giving lessons to the duo at age 4.

At the time, the idea that two African-American tennis players could break into the lily-white world of tennis was a novel concept. 

“You’re going to be representing every little Black girl on Earth,” Richard Williams says in the trailer.

The film focuses on the inspirational aspects of his story that transcends sport.

As “proud” Smith, who portrayed boxing icon Muhammad Ali in Michael Mann’s 2001 film “Ali,” wrote on Instagram Thursday: “One of the greatest honors as an actor is to be able to celebrate someone’s legacy while they’re still here creating it.”

Smith called the film “the origin story for some REAL DEAL superheroes.”

Reinaldo Marcus Green directs an ensemble cast including Aunjanue Ellis as Oracene “Brandi” Williams (the duo’s mother), Jon Bernthal as their coach Rick Macci and Dylan McDermott as a sports agent. 

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