After lapping up near unanimous praise in the wake of its debut at TIFF 2015, Brie Larson’s poignant drama Room is all but the talk of the town, with many a critic – including our own Darren Ruecker – highlighting the raw and emotional turn by Larson as some of the actress’ finest work to date. In many ways it represents the culmination of a burgeoning career, following roles in Short Term 12, Trainwreck and opposite Mark Wahlberg in The Gambler; now, Larson is on the verge of joining Steve Carell in Battle of the Sexes.
Joining the production in place of Emma Stone – who bowed out citing scheduling conflicts, and effectively scuppering plans for a mini Crazy, Stupid, Love reunion – Variety reports that Larson will pick up the torch and tennis racket as Billie Jean King, a 29-year-old female tennis player who called Carell’s Bobby Riggs out of retirement for a match. As a 55-year-old Wimbledon veteran, all odds appeared in Riggs’ favor, though it was the former World No. 2 who taught Riggs a lesson or two on the grass at Center Court.
Little Miss Sunshine alumni Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris are behind the lens for Battle of the Sexes, adapting a script by Slumdog Millionaire‘s Simon Beaufoy. The ties to Danny Boyle don’t end there, though, with the Steve Jobs director also on board to produce the film.
Said to be comedic in tone while still addressing important political issues, Battle of the Sexes is just one of three in-development projects that will orbit around the famed clash between Riggs and King in 1973. In another case of Hollywood’s peculiar double vision, HBO is currently building a feature about the encounter, while Will Ferrell is also attached to a similar project entitled Match Maker.
No word yet on a release window for Battle of the Sexes, but Brie Larson’s addition is merely another feather in the actress’ cap. Before a gruelling tennis match, however, a trip to Kong: Skull Island is on the cards.