Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 June 2019

Will Smith to play Williams sisters' father in upcoming biopic

The 'Fresh Prince' star, who recently dropped out of 'Suicide Squad 2', will play Serena and Venus's dad

Will Smith during his visit to Dubai to promote 'Suicide Squad'. AP 
Will Smith during his visit to Dubai to promote 'Suicide Squad'. AP 

Will Smith recently dropped out of reprising his role as Deadshot in James Gunn’s Suicide Squad sequel, with scheduling issues given as the reason.

In fairness, the American actor was never actually contracted to appear in the second movie, and we may now have a clue as to what he will be doing instead.

Deadline reports that Smith will take on the role of Richard Williams, the man who battled the odds to make his daughters, Venus and Serena, world tennis champions, in a forthcoming biopic by first-time writer Zach Baylin.

Venus Williams, left, from the U.S. celebrates winning against her sister Serena, in a match during the opening day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Venus Williams, left, and sister Serena, during the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi in 2018. AP

Smith will reportedly also be co-producing the biopic through his production company, Overbrook Entertainment.

Despite having no previous experience in tennis coaching, Williams devised a 78-page plan for the tennis careers of his then-four and five-year-old daughters – he has since said he feels he may have started them too early and six would have been a better age. However, looking at their careers, his error certainly wasn’t fatal.

Williams would take the young sisters to dilapidated public courts in Compton, South Los Angeles, where he fought with gangs of youths who had claimed the courts as their own.

After entering his daughters into a tennis training academy, he pulled them out in 1995 and began training them again himself.

Serena won the US open in 1995, while Venus won Wimbledon in 2000, with the player famously shouting "straight outta Compton!’ as she did so, in a reference to the NWA song. The sisters currently have a remarkable 30 Grand Slam titles between them, as well as multiple Olympic gold medals.

seven-time Grand Slam title winner (singles), and Serena Williams (b. 1981), twenty-three-time Grand Slam title winner (singles), both of whom were coached from an early age by their parents

Smith will next be seen on screens playing the genie in Guy Ritchie’s live-action remake of Disney’s Aladdin, due out in May.

Updated: March 5, 2019 04:32 PM