In his latest film, King Richard, Will Smith plays the father of two of today’s most well-known athletes, Venus and Serena Williams.
The tennis stars’ genesis story is told in the biopic, which they executive produce alongside their sister Isha Price.
Smith expressed his delight in playing a real-life character for the third time, when they are still alive to watch it, while sharing the first trailer of the film on Instagram.
“One of the greatest honours as an actor is to be able to celebrate someone’s legacy while they’re still here producing it,” he wrote accompanying the video in the caption.
“I’ve had the opportunity to do it a few times in my career, playing @ceoofhappyness and @muhammadali, and each time it’s been a really satisfying and expansive experience.”
“Now, I’m delighted to present to you our first trailer for King Richard, the story of the man who gave the world @venuswilliams and @serenawilliams.” “Here’s the backstory of some REAL SUPERHEROES!!” The Suicide Squad star went on to say.
Serena also posted the trailer to social media, with the caption “this should be good” and a popcorn emoji.
King Richard is based on true events and portrays the story of Richard Williams (Smith), an unflappable father who was influential in developing two of the best tennis players in the world, Venus and Serena Williams (Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton).
Richard executes a plan that takes the girls from the streets of Compton, California, to the global stage as sports icons, driven by a clear vision of the future.
The trailer features powerful emotional scenes from Smith, including an impassioned address in which he states: “You will be representing every little Black girl on Earth,” from acclaimed filmmaker Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men) and rookie screenwriter Zach Baylin.
Will Smith has gotten two Oscar nods for his past appearances as real-life individuals, beginning with Michael Mann’s Ali, in which he played famed boxer Muhammad Ali (2001).
The other was for his performance in Gabriele Muccino’s The Pursuit of Happiness as Chris Gardner, a poor salesman who becomes homeless with his young kid (2006).
He was one of the primary figures in the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in 2016, when the Academy nominated entirely white actors for the second year in a row.
Despite Golden Globe nominations for best actor in a drama, Smith’s work as Dr. Bennett Omalu in Peter Landesman’s NFL brain injury drama, Concussion, went overlooked (2015).
Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, who is also an executive producer on King Richard, promised not to attend the 2016 Oscars ceremony due to the lack of diversity among the candidates.
Brandy Williams, Richard’s wife and mother to Serena and Venus, is played by Emmy nominee Aunjanue Ellis (Lovecraft Country). She co-stars with Jon Bernthal (Baby Driver), Tony Goldwyn (Scandal), and Dylan McDermott (two-time Emmy nominee) (The Practice and Hollywood).
On November 18, King Richard will be released in Australian theatres.