Will Smith portrayed Muhammad Ali in Ali, Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness, and Bennet Omalu in Concussion. For his next biopic, he’ll play Richard Williams, the father of legendary tennis siblings, Venus and Serena Williams. King Richard takes place before either sister — played in the movie by Saniyya Sidney (Venus) and Demi Singleton (Serena) won their first Grand Slam; they’re still up-and-comers being coached by their kid. “Now I don’t mind you saying we hard on these kids. You know why? ‘Cause we are,” Smith says in the trailer above. “That’s our job, to keep ’em off these streets.”
Smith’s only Oscar nominations came for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness. With King Richard, he clearly wants another nomination — and this time, maybe a win.
Here’s what Smith had to say about the movie:
One of the greatest honors as an actor is to be able to celebrate someone’s legacy while they’re still here creating it. I’ve gotten to do it a few times in my career playing Chris Gardner and Muhammad Ali, and every time it’s a fulfilling and expansive experience beyond compare. So now, I’m proud to show you all our first trailer for King Richard, the story of the man who introduced the world to Venus Williams and Serena Williams. The origin story for some REAL DEAL superheroes!
King Richard hits theaters and HBO Max on November 19.