Will Ferrell signs up for Billie Jean King biopic

Actor Will Ferrell poses at the UK Premiere of the film Anchorman 2 in Leicester Square, London, December 11, 2013. — Reuters pic
Actor Will Ferrell poses at the UK Premiere of the film Anchorman 2 in Leicester Square, London, December 11, 2013. — Reuters pic

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LOS ANGELES, April 5 ― Known for his roles in comedy capers “Anchorman 2” and “The Lego Movie,” SNL alumnus Will Ferrell will be flexing his dramatic chops in “Match Maker,” a sports drama focusing on 1973’s tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

It's not the first time that Ferrell has taken on a more serious role, with “Winter Passing” and “Stranger than Fiction” parts in the mid-2000s, and for “Match Maker” he’ll become none other than Bobby Riggs himself, reports Variety.

Retired pro Riggs had been the men’s World No. 1 earlier in his career and was one of the two most visible actors in what was to become a national sensation. The other was 29-year-old women’s player Billie Jean King, who was in top form.

Having already dismissed the powerful Margaret Court in an earlier encounter, Riggs had drummed up a global television audience of 90 million for his athletic date with King.

But an unexpectedly poor performance coupled with King’s fine play resulted in a sound beating for the 55-year-old veteran.

Speculation followed that there’d been more at stake for Riggs than a mere US$100,000 (RM327, 000) prize and national fame. In fact, the film borrows its title from ESPN’s 2013 article of the same name ― “The Match Maker: Bobby Riggs, The Mafia and The Battle of the Sexes.”

And if placing the comic Ferrell in one of the leading roles is seen as a surprise move, despite his love of the sport, the attachment of scriptwriter Steve Conrad suggest that it might not be such a bad bet after all.

Conrad wrote up 2013’s  “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which starred fellow Frat Pack buddy Ben Stiller and went on to make back its US$90 million budget twice over. ― AFP-Relaxnews

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