Will Ferrell Will Star In 'Match Maker' & Show Off His Tennis Skills
When it comes to things Hollywood loves to turn into movies, notable bits of sports history are definitely in the top twenty, if not the top ten. In fact, Hollywood making two films about the same bit of sports history at the same isn't even that rare — which is part of the reason Will Ferrell starring in tennis movie Match Maker isn't a huge shocker. Actually, it really seems to fit.
Match Maker, which will be written by Steve Conrad (The Pursuit of Happyness, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty), will chronicle the legendary beef between tennis superstars Bobby Riggs (Ferrell) and Billie Jean King. As The Hollywood Reporter puts it, there was an "infamous rivalry between Riggs, a tennis champ past his prime who came out of retirement to challenge women’s tennis player King in a 1973 game that became known as The Battle of the Sexes. More than 50 million Americans tuned in to watch King beat Riggs and win the $100,000 prize."
The beef is being turned into not one, but two films. The other is Battle of the Sexes directed by Slumdog Millionaire's Danny Boyle. That one's still going forward, albeit with a more dramatic tilt than the drama-comedy hybrid Match Maker seems to be going for.
Ferrell's making this on the relative heels of Anchorman 2, but given the dramedy element and the presence of Walter Mitty's screenwriter it seems like the project will be more similar in tone to Stranger Than Fiction, Ferrell's most notable dramedy performance to date. We can likely expect a much different character out of him this time — Stranger Than Fiction's Harold seems unlikely to have ever uttered the words "the best way to handle women is to keep them pregnant and barefoot,” as Riggs famously did in the riling-up for the match.