Only In Tennis…A Film On Richard Williams Starring Will Smith

This doesn’t happen in other sports, a movie about a dad who did the unthinkable, a tennis novice who schools his two black daughters on cracked public courts in the shadow of Los Angeles, to become two of the greatest champions in the sport. But it happened, and now Will Smith, one of the biggest stars in Hollywood will portray Richard Williams and what kind of fireworks this film that is slated to be made soon will showcase is anyone’s guess.

Will Smith tote a gun onto the court and threaten to shoot Venus’s dog during a practice like Vince Spadea once said happened. Will the film portray how Williams bilked Rick Macci from payment and credit in developing Serena and Venus as Macci claimed in his book. This should be very interesting and tennis seems the only sport, on the heels of the popular Battle of the Sexes starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell, to garner this type of interest.

Richard Williams is surely a colorful figure. I remember when he asked me one year at the US Open to help him with his auto-biography that finally got published under the title of, “Black and White: The Way I See It.” The book didn’t get much attention, but this movie could be a blockbuster. It’ll be interesting to see who play the young Venus and Serena, Oracene and the adult Venus and Serena. For certain, Richard is one of the great coaches, motivators and prognosticators. He wrote this poem to Serena after she had had two foot surgeries before the 2012 Wimbledon:

Step forward so you can see

the light of day and know

you are capable of

conquering fear, defeating feelings of inadequacy,

and rising above life’s circumstances.

One who is able to prevail

is a shining example of

power, strength, and confidence.

It’s just a matter of faith.

Not Shakespeare, but always positive and defiant.



  • Scoop Malinowski · March 5, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Richard Williams is a fascinating figure, he created not one but two miracles. The USTA, with all it’s money, can’t do what Richard Williams did twice. Think about that. My first brush with Mr Williams was very memorable. It was at US Open, we did a Biofile and at the end of the interview he said, “That was the best interview I ever did.”

  • Doug Day · March 6, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    “Colorisim” charges leveled at casting light-skinned Will Smith as Richard, who’s over-exposed anyway. Jamie Foxx could well convey the patriarch.In other wannabe news Jussie Smollett canned as scriptwriter…



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