Will Smith‘s King Richard movie has found its director in Reinaldo Marcus Green.
The Monsters and Men filmmaker is set to direct the film, which tells the true story of Richard Williams who, despite having no tennis background, oversaw his daughters Venus and Serena’s tennis careers from overgrown courts in Compton, California to the top of the international game almost two decades ago – when Serena won the US Open in 1999, and Venus beat Lindsay Davenport to win the 2000 Wimbledon title.
Green will also be the first black filmmaker Smith has worked with in his 25-year career, according to IndieWire.
Tim White and Trevor White will produce through their Star Thrower banner and James Lassiter will produce for Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment company. The Aladdin star’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith, brother-in-law Caleeb Pinkett and Allan Mandelbaum will executive produce.
Green’s directorial debut, Monsters and Men, had its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win the Special Jury Prize for Outstanding First Feature.
He also helmed the first three episodes of the highly anticipated Netflix series Top Boy, and recently completed principal photography on his next movie, Good Joe Bell, starring Mark Wahlberg and Connie Britton.
When Smith was attached to star as Richard Williams earlier this year, it sparked a colorism debate, with some social media users believing he is too light-skinned to play the tennis coach. He has not yet responded to the criticism.
Warner Bros. is set to release King Richard on November 25 next year (2020), just before the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.