It’s love-all between Steve Carell and Emma Stone in the new trailer for “Battle of the Sexes”, the film based on the remarkable true story of a tennis match between Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs.
The “Battle of the Sexes” were three tennis matches played between a man and a woman, the idea driven by Riggs. One of the world’s top players in the 1940s, Riggs was an incredibly outspoken critic of women’s tennis in the early 1970s, often saying even at his age he could beat the best female players. His ongoing jabs at female players gained him a lot of attention, and when Billy Jean King turned down the first match, he played — and won against — Margaret Court.
His win only bolstered his ego and again, he challenged King to a match, which she finally agreed to after a lucrative prize offer of $100,000. The lead-up to the match was hugely promoted via the media, with Riggs’ chauvinism gaining him more notoriety.
At the time, King was a huge proponent for equality in pay, with male players winning substantially more than women in the sport. In 1972 King, after winning the U.S. Open, said she wouldn’t play again if the prize money wasn’t equal. In 1973, the year of her match against Riggs, the U.S. Open became the first major grand slam to award equal prize money.
The two couldn’t have been more different, with Riggs playing as a publicity stunt and King championing gender equality.
The film not only takes a look at the pair facing off, but also their private lives off the court.
After her marriage to tennis player Larry King, in 1971 Billy Jean became involved with her secretary Marilyn Barnett. Meanwhile Riggs, a gambler and hustler, was accused of being tied to the mob and fixing matches.
The film stars Emma Stone as Billie Jean and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs, and are joined by Andrea Riseborough, Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, Elisabeth Shue and Sarah Silverman.
“Battle of the Sexes” is scheduled to release in cinemas in September
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