Fox Searchlight has released the first photo for Battle of the Sexes, a movie about the legendary 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Emma Stone (Amazing Spider-Man) and Steve Carell (40 Year Old Virgin, The Big Short) play the title characters in a movie directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris from a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy. Read more below.
“The electrifying 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the Battle of the Sexes and became the most watched televised sports event of all time. The match caught the zeitgeist and sparked a global conversation on gender equality, spurring on the feminist movement. Trapped in the media glare, King and Riggs were on opposites sides of a binary argument, but off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. With a supportive husband urging her to fight the Establishment for equal pay, the fiercely private King was also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, while Riggs gambled his legacy and reputation in a bid to relive the glories of his past. Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis courts and animated the discussions between men and women in bedrooms and boardrooms around the world.”
This will be the second time Emma Stone and Steve Carell worked together in a film, following their previous collaboration on Crazy Stupid Love. Since then they have each sought more dramatic roles and have been nominated for Academy Awards (Stone for Birdman and Carell for Foxcatcher), and this film will likely require more of their acting chops then their flair for comedy. The production team and cast showed up for CinemaCon and spoke about project. Check it out, courtesy of Coming Soon.
“If all men and women worked as well together as Jon Dayton and Valerie Faris,” said Boyle and Colson, “the world would be a more harmonious place. Together with Emma, Steve and the rest of our fabulous cast they are the perfect team to realise Simon Beaufoy’s brilliant ballad of Billie and Bobby–the perfect odd couple.”
“The irony isn’t lost on us that we are a husband-and-wife team directing the Battle of the Sexes. As soon as we read Simon’s script we knew we had to make this film. We feel so fortunate to have gathered such an amazing group of artists, both behind and in front of camera,” said Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.
“Jon and Val have been a part of the Searchlight family since their debut with ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’” said Utley and Gilula. “Their ability to create real, believable characters and situations while also subtly commenting on culture is unique, and we can’t wait to see their take on this watershed moment in sports history and social change. We are proud to be reuniting with them, along with Steve, Emma, Danny and Christian, all of whom are family to us.”
“I’m extremely pleased to be working again with Jonathan and Valerie as well as with Christian and Danny whose work I have long admired,” said Robert Graf. “I remember watching the original Battle of the Sexes in 1973 and, even as a boy, recognizing it as both an irresistible pop spectacle and part of an important cultural conversation about equality and respect — a conversation that continues vigorously today and to which we hope our film will contribute.”