Served! Emma Stone and Steve Carell will face off on the tennis court as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, respectively, when Battle of the Sexes hits theaters September 22. The sports drama reunites Stone, 28, and Carell, 54, for the first time since 2011’s Crazy, Stupid, Love and also stars Alan Cumming, Sarah Silverman and Bill Pullman.
The film focuses on the 1973 match between World No. 1 King and former champion Riggs, who declared that 20 years after retiring from the game, he could still beat any female player because they were “inferior.” With $100,000 on the line, the players met in Houston’s Astrodome for a best-of-three-sets face-off, which inspired a global conversation about gender equality and tallied a major victory for women’s rights. Their Battle of the Sexes contest remains one of the most watched sporting events of all time.
“There was also a shift of perception,” the real King, 73, told CNN in 2015 of her landmark win. “That’s what you want for both men and women. What the women got out of when I beat Riggs was self-confidence and higher self-esteem. For the first time they were asking for a raise, for instance. And they were actually getting them, which is more important.”
Stone, 28, spent several hours on the court with the 12-time Grand Slam singles winner in preparation for the biopic. “She reduced the game to straight hand-eye coordination and had me chasing a ball around the court,” the Oscar winner told The Hollywood Reporter in January.
King has been supportive of Battle of the Sexes on Twitter, gushing over a side-by-side look at the original duo versus their on-screen counterparts when the first photos of the movie were released last year.
THEN NOW: #BobbyRiggs me at #BattleOfTheSexes presser in 1973; @stevecarell and #EmmaStone as us, filming now!? pic.twitter.com/5jTCsyoXAE
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) April 13, 2016
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!