Stone is to portray tennis champ and feminist icon Billie Jean King while Carell is to play her chauvinist rival Bobby Riggs in Fox Searchlight's comedy-drama "Battle of the Sexes," The Times has confirmed. Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.
The movie takes its name from King and Riggs' much-hyped 1973 tennis match, which was framed as a showdown between a fierce women's rights advocate and an unapologetically sexist braggart. In the nationally televised match, King soundly beat Riggs (who, though a former champ himself, was 26 years her senior) in three straight sets; she also claimed a $100,000 prize.
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the husband-and-wife filmmaking duo behind "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Ruby Sparks," will direct the movie working from a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy ("The Full Monty," "Slumdog Millionaire").
"Battle of the Sexes" is scheduled to start production in the fall, with an eye toward a 2016 release.
That timetable could give the film a leg up against two rival King-Riggs projects reportedly in the works: HBO and Playtone's version with Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti, and Chernin Entertainment and Gary Sanchez Productions' "Match Maker" with Will Ferrell.
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