Warner Bros. Wins 'King Richard' With Will Smith to Play Father of Serena and Venus Williams

Will Smith-Richard Williams-Split-Getty-H 2019
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic; Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Warner Bros. is in negotiations to pay more than $50 million for the package, which includes the film's budget.

It’s game, set and match for Warner Bros.

The studio is coming out on top of a highly contested bidding war for King Richard, the hot package that has Will Smith attached to star as the father of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams, and is now deep in negotiations.

The script is by Zach Baylin. Tim and Trevor White (The Post) will produce under their Star Thrower Entertainment banner, alongside Smith and his Overbrook Entertainment banner

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Paramount, Sony's TriStar and MRC were among the suitors for the package. Even Barack and Michelle Obama were in on the action, with their Netflix-based Higher Ground Productions bidding.  

The volleying for the project reached such an intensity that it quickly reached the $50 million to $60 million range. That includes not only the fees for the actor, screenwriter and producers, but the life rights and the production budget of the eventual movie.

King Richard will tell the true-life story of Richard Williams, who trained his two daughters to play tennis, beginning on cracked courts in Compton, California, on to coaching them to Grand Slam wins and shaping them into two of the greatest players in the sport.