Having pulled out of James Gunn‘s upcoming soft reboot, The Suicide Squad, many were wondering what Will Smith was going to replace that role with. We’ve got our answer already. Smith has signed on to play the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams in the upcoming indie drama, King Richard.
Zach Baylin has penned the script, which appeared on Hollywood’s Black List – the annual list of best unproduced screenplays – in December. The script is said to be an interesting look at a father who demanded greatness from his gifted daughters and refused to settle for anything less.
Richard trained Venus and Serena from a very young age, waking the girls up early every day for practice. By the time they were just teenagers, Serena won the US Open in 1999 and Venus won Wimbledon a year later. Serena now has 23 Grand Slam tournament wins, while Venus has 7.
As of right now, the Williams sisters are not involved in the project. That would likely help with the credibility of the film, and perhaps having a man of Smith’s stature now on board will convince them. It’s unclear whether they have read the script and endorse the depiction of their father or not. There’s currently no director attached to the project either, but that should change soon with Smith’s involvement.
This is a welcome return to a more dramatic role for Smith, who has spent the last few years phoning it in a little. Although films such as Suicide Squad and Netflix’s Bright may have seemed like good decisions initially, they turned out to be poor ones. Even his upcoming role in Disney’s live-action Aladdin has already been made fun of online.
He needs this sort of role to get back on track. Or maybe this turns out to be another potentially good role that later goes sour. Perhaps we should wait and see who is brought in to direct the project.