Will Smith has ditched the "Suicide Squad" for the tennis court: A new report says the star is poised to play the father and coach of two of the greatest athletes of all time.
Deadline has the scoop that Smith is being eyed to play the title role in "King Richard," a film that follows Richard Williams, the father of tennis superstars Venus Williams and Serena Williams. According to the trade, the film -- penned by Zach Baylin -- is still in the spec script stage, but has commanded serious attention from filmmakers, and already has Smith on board as a producer though his Overbrook Entertainment banner.
The flick will focus on Richard Williams's improbable rise, and chronicle how, "Despite having no tennis background, he overcame tremendous hardship, skepticism and his own troubled past to raise two of the game’s greatest players."
Here's a taste of what could be featured in the film, per Deadline:
"When his daughters were around the age of four, Richard Williams drew up a 78-page plan for their professional tennis careers. He began giving them tennis lessons and the girls learned the game on cracked, weedy public courts in Compton, reportedly after their father brawled with young toughs who were not fans of the sport and would not make way.
"The sisters began to assert themselves as Serena won the US Open in 1999 and Venus beat Lindsay Davenport to win the 2000 Wimbledon title. After that victory, Richard shouted “Straight Outta Compton!” (in reference to a song by N.W.A based on that area in Los Angeles) and jumped over the NBC broadcasting booth, ... performing a triumphant dance.”
Smith has some space cleared in his schedule since his high-profile departure from the "Suicide Squad" series last month. Deadline reports that the star has yet to line up his next project, but is "passionate" about "King Richard," and hoping to put the film together quickly.
The script is being shopped right now. Stay tuned.