A remarkable true story is ready be told for the first time on the big screen, here are all the details…
Spoilers may follow.
What’s it about?
On Thursday 20th September 1973, Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs went head to head in a so-called ‘battle of the sexes’ in Texas’ Houston Astrodome.
She was the 29-year-old, 11-time Grand Slam winning, number one Ladies Tennis player in the world. He was 55, a 3-time Grand Slam winner, former Mens number one and prolific gambler.
Having refused Riggs’ first offer of a match, King finally took up the challenge after he played and beat Margaret Court in a likewise game, taunting female tennis players in its wake. For her, this was more than just publicity, this was a match about gender equality and the future of women’s tennis.
The prize was $100,000 and 90m viewers were watching on across the globe.
Who’s in it?
Now a bone-fide Oscar winner, Emma Stone has swapped the dance floor for the tennis court to play King, with the terrific Andrea Riseborough reuniting with Stone from Birdman as her hairdresser and lover Marilyn Barnett.
Relishing the opportunity to dial up his performance, meanwhile, Steve Carell takes a break from the Despicable Me franchise as Bobby.
Among the rest of the cast are Sarah Silverman as, World Tennis Magazine founder, Gladys Heldman, Bill Pullman as Jack Kramer and Alan Cumming as Ted Tinling – King’s friend and fashion designer.
Taking the roles of Riggs and King’s wife and husband, Priscilla and Larry, are Elisabeth Shue and Austin Stowell respectively.
Who’s made it?
Husband and wife directing team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris make for a ‘collaboration of the sexes’ at the helm of the film, having previously delivered 2006’s Little Miss Sunshine (which also starred Carell) and Ruby Sparks in 2012.
Battle of the Sexes has been written by The Full Monty, Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours writer Simon Beaufoy. Yorkshire born and bred, Beaufoy’s impressive CV also includes everything from the second Hunger Games film to Everest.
Replicating the 1970s look – including, here, a Sugar Daddy outfit for Carell – is La La Land’s Costume Designer Mary Zophres, whilst Moonlight’s Nicholas Britell composes the score.
When’s it out?
Battle of the Sexes’ tour of the film festival circuit has already hit Telluride, Toronto and London to rave reviews, with Rio de Janeiro, Zurich, Hamburg, Gent and Busan still to come.
UK cinemagoers will be able to catch the film from 24th November.
Watch the trailer here: