Last year the documentary Battle Of The Sexes looked at the 1970s ‘Battle Of The Sexes’ tennis match, which Bobby Riggs take on Billie Jean King to test his theory that even a retired male tennis pro would be better than the world’s best woman. That doc has certainly ignited interest in taking the story to the big screen.
A couple of months ago it was revealed that Danny Boyle was looking into making a movie about the match, but now it’s got some competition as Variety reports that Will Ferrell has signed up to play Riggs in a rival movie called Match Maker.
This one is a comedy with a script by Steve Conrad (Walter Mitty), based on a 2013 ESPN article, ‘The Match Maker: Bobby Riggs, the Mafia and the Battle of the Sexes’.
It follows self-proclaimed chauvinist Riggs, who in the early 70s declared that the female game was inferior and that a top woman player couldn’t beat him even at the age of 55. To prove his point he challenged King to a match, but she declined. Margaret Court, who was then the top female player in the world agreed to take him on. She lost in straight sets, seemingly confirming Riggs’ claims.
King wasn’t going to stand for that and agreed to play Bobby in what became a nationally televised media sensation watched by over 50 million viewers.
Ferrell is a passionate tennis fan, so it wasn’t to tough to convince him to take the role.