Emma Stone, Steve Carell to match up in ‘Battle of the Sexes’

Emma Stone will portray Billie Jean King in Fox Searchlight's "Battle of the Sexes."
Emma Stone will portray Billie Jean King in Fox Searchlight’s “Battle of the Sexes.”
(Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)

Emma Stone and Steve Carell are set to reunite on the big screen, but this time the “Crazy Stupid Love” costars will be serving up heated competition.

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.

Follow @ogettell for movie news