On April 13th, Fox Searchlight announced that principal photography had begun on Battle of the Sexes, directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Ruby Sparks, and the screenplay for Little Miss Sunshine) and centered around the famous 1973 tennis match between the world champ of the time Billie King and ex-champ Bobby Riggs.
The film is written by Academy Award winner Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, The Full Monty) and produced by his frequent collaborator Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Jobs). Battle of the Sexes stars Oscar nominees Emma Stone and Steve Carrell as King and Riggs, respectively. The two duke it out in an adaptation of what became the most watched televised sports event of all time. Joining them is an A-list cast including Sarah Silverman (Masters of Sex), Alan Cumming (The Good Wife), and Andrea Riseborough (Birdman).
“The irony isn’t lost on us that we are a husband-and-wife team directing the Battle of the Sexes. As soon as we read Simon’s script we knew we had to make this film. We feel so fortunate to have gathered such an amazing group of artists, both behind and in front of camera,” said Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.
Battle of the Sexes, while steeped in the conflicts of the 70’s, finds relevance in today’s gender climate. At the time the match was caught in the zeitgeist, igniting a global conversation on gender equality and spurring the feminist movement. King and Riggs were on opposite sides of the court, and thus the binary argument. Fighting became more and more personal, with King coming to terms with her own sexuality and Riggs gambling his legacy to relive his past glories.
Below we have our first look at Stone and Carrell in character, looking strikingly like the duo they portray. This moment comes from when King and Riggs first announced their upcoming match.
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