On Wednesday, July 28, the official trailer for “King Richard,” starring Will Smith as Richard Williams, the father of two some of the greatest women’s tennis stars ever, premiered, and it looks to be a real tear-jerker. According to Warner Bros., the movie will focus on the upbringing of the Williams sisters, played by Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, but from the perspective of “an undeterred father” with “relentless drive and unapologetic vision to change the game” who is “instrumental in raising two of the most extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time,” who will end up changing the sport of tennis forever.
“I wrote a 78-page plan for their whole career before they were even born,” Smith says in the trailer, noting Williams’ ambitions to transform his daughters into tennis champs. “You’re going to be representing every little Black girl on Earth.” In another scene, Smith says, “It’s OK, they’re just not used to seeing good looking peoples like us,” highlighting some of racial obstacles the Compton natives faced dealing with instructors and other gatekeepers of the sport who couldn’t see past their skin color.
Though it’s only been online for one day, the trailer has already been viewed 1.2 million times on the studio’s official YouTube page. Smith also shared the clip on his Instagram account, where he spoke on how “one of the greatest honors as an actor is to be able to celebrate someone’s legacy while they’re still here creating it.”
The post was viewed over 7.2 million times as fans and co-stars flooded the comment section with praise over the teaser despite earlier criticisms surrounding the movie’s casting. “Working with you has been a dream come true, can’t wait to share this with the world!” wrote Singleton, who portrays a young Serena in the movie. “LETS GOOOO!🎾❤️.”
“Damn Willard!” said DJ Dwrek. “I couldn’t get through this trailer without my eyes swellin’ up! This is gonna be incredible!! 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾.” A third commented, “I shed a tear watching trailer. I don’t wanna be a grown man crying in the theaters, HBO it is. 😂.”
This is Smith’s first major release since the 2020 sequel “Bad Boys For Life,” but the nearly two-minute clip was enough to park talks of a potential Oscar nomination. The 52-year-old has only been nominated twice in his career for his role in the 2002 film “Ali” and the 2007 “The Pursuit of Happyness.” “Give this man his Oscar now,” expressed one fan. “How would you like your Oscar delivered?” asked another.
“King Richard” is directed by “Monsters and Men” director Reinaldo Marcus Green. Venus and Serena, along with their sister, Isha Price, are executive producers. The film opens on Nov. 19 in theaters and HBO, where it will stream for 31 days after the release.
Check out the trailer down below.