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Back in 1973, the world watched on as champion tennis stars Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs went head-to-head in a match labeled The Battle of the Sexes, and the battle wound up becoming one of the most notable sports events of the 20th century. Now that great moment in history is getting a cinematic adaptation, and it will be Emma Stone and Steve Carrell will be reuniting to play the lead roles in the movie.
The Wrap was the first to report this news, confirming that Stone will be playing the then-29-year-old King, while Carell will be starring as the then-55-year-old Riggs. The project, which will be simply titled Battle of the Sexes, is being directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who previously had the chance to work with Carell on their Oscar winning 2006 hit Little Miss Sunshine. They will be working with a script written by Simon Beaufoy (the Academy Award-winner behind Slumdog Millionaire), and Danny Boyle is attached to produce the project. The screenwriter has evidently been working on the project for years, with assistance from the real Bille Jean King (Bobby Riggs died in 1995).
If you're feeling like you're experiencing a bit of deja vu right now, it's because this actually isn't the only production that is working to adapt an adaptation of the great Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs match. HBO is currently developing a project for their own network that will star Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti in the lead roles. There is also another big screen version of the story called Match Maker that was announced last year and is supposed to star Will Ferrell as Riggs. Still, Battle of the Sexes has the upper-hand, as it evidently will be the first of the three that will be making its way into the shooting stage. That being said, it doesn't look like the movie has a release date just yet (though Fox Searchlight is producing the film and will distribute).
As alluded to earlier, Emma Stone and Steve Carell have had the chance to work together before. In 2011, they both starred in the romantic dramedy Crazy, Stupid, Love - though they didn't play one of the movie's romantic pairings. It's funny that this casting should happen now, if not only because Stone just recently became attached to work with her other Crazy Stupid Love co-star, Ryan Gosling, in Whiplash director Damian Chazelle's upcoming old school musical La La Land.
After what sounds like years and years of development, it now sounds as though Battle of the Sexes is really starting to make some headway. With two leads now attached, it may not be long before the movie moves into the production phase, and then find its way to theaters everywhere.