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Will Smith to play Venus, Serena Williams' dad in new film

By
Annie Martin
Will Smith will play Richard Williams, Venus and Serena Williams' father and former tennis coach, in the movie King Richard. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
Will Smith will play Richard Williams, Venus and Serena Williams' father and former tennis coach, in the movie "King Richard." File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

March 5 (UPI) -- Will Smith will play Venus and Serena Williams' dad, Richard Williams, in a new film.

Variety confirmed Monday the 50-year-old actor will portray Richard, Venus and Serena's father and former tennis coach, in the movie King Richard.

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King Richard will recount how Richard overcame hardship, skepticism, controversy and his own troubled past to teach Venus and Serena to play tennis, despite not having a background in the sport.

Deadline said Richard drew up a 78-page plan for Venus and Serena's professional tennis careers when the pair were about 4 years old. He started giving his daughters tennis lessons at public courts in Compton, Calif.

Serena and Venus' careers took off after Serena won the U.S. Open in 1999 and Venus won Wimbledon the next year. Serena has won 23 individual Grand Slam tournaments, while Venus has seven individual Grand Slam titles.

King Richard is based on a script from Zach Baylin. Smith will produce with Tim White and Trevor White, with Allan Mandelbaum and Caleeb Pinkett as executive producers.

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Smith will next star in the Disney live-action remake of Aladdin. Reports said last week the actor will not reprise Deadshot in the Suicide Squad sequel or other future DC films.

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