Fox Searchlight has announced that Emma Stone will play Billie Jean King in its production of “Battle of the Sexes,” the story of when King defeated former world number one, and 55-year-old, Bobby Riggs in a landmark event that symbolized the cultural shift of the United States during that time.
Stone was originally casted before other projects sidelined the production of the film, but yesterday it was announced that she will be playing King, alongside Steve Carell, who will play Riggs.
It is just one of three separate films in production about the famed Battle of the Sexes match. Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti will play King and Riggs, respectively, in HBO’s “Proof,” and Will Ferrell will play Riggs in Chernin Entertainment’s “Match Maker.” They have not yet casted someone to play King as of yet.
Is this overkill? Sure, it is three separate production companies and three different cinematic styles. It seems to be a lot of different big screen version takes on the same event coming out around the same time.
And while the event was undoubtedly an historic one for not only tennis, but for the progressive movement of the 1970s, and the rumors that Riggs may have thrown the match to pay off some of his debts makes it more intriguing, but three movies on the same topic coming out at the same time seems a bit much, even by Hollywood standards.
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at email@example.com.