Back in 1973, former tennis champ Bobby Riggs challenged women’s tennis champ and avowed feminist Billie Jean King to one of the most notorious sports events of its time: an inter-gender “Battle of the Sexes” match, in which the stakes were a $100,000 purse – and endless satisfaction. It’s the kind of story you can’t believe they took this long to turn into a movie. But now they did, and there’s a trailer.
That’s newly crowned Oscar winner Emma Stone as King and Steve Carell as Riggs, appearing in their second film together (after 2011’s Crazy, Stupid, Love). The directors are Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who had an indie smash back in 2006 with Little Miss Sunshine – co-starring Mr. Carell – but have only directed one more feature in the interim, 2012’s Ruby Sparks.
Maybe they were just being picky. In that case, they seem to have made a smart bet: the script is by Oscar-winner Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours), the supporting cast is stellar (it includes Sarah Silverman, Alan Cumming, Andrea Riseborough, Natalie Morales, and Elisabeth Shut), and the story remains, sadly, awfully relevant.
Battle of the Sexes hits theaters on September 22.