Emma Stone sang and danced her way to a Best Actress Oscar for last year’s La La Land. For her next project, she’ll again be showing off some moves — this time in a based-on-real-events sports saga opposite Steve Carell. Battle of the Sexes will recount the hoopla surrounding the 1973 exhibition tennis match played between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King, which seems — from the film’s debut trailer — like it’ll be aiming to serve up some award-season dramedy tinged with social commentary.
That makes sense, considering the nature of its story: Aging former tennis champ Bobby Riggs (Carell) had already felled Margaret Court, the world’s reigning No. 1 female player, in a hyped May 1973 match. So he pushed his gender-wars shtick to new heights by challenging Billie Jean King (Stone) later that year. Dubbed the “Battle of the Sexes,” it was a promotional stunt that drew the attention of the entire country and helped further elevate the reputation of King, who was already known as a champion of women’s rights. Those issues — along with King’s secret romantic relationship with Andrea Riseborough’s character — seem like they’ll factor prominently in the film, which is being helmed by Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.
Co-starring Elisabeth Shue, Austin Stowell, Sarah Silverman and Alan Cumming, Battle of the Sexes debuts in theaters on Sept. 22.
Watch footage from the real press conference back in 1973:
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