The erstwhile Ron Burgundy will stay in the 1970s for his next project as Will Ferrell has become attached to star in the tennis comedy Match Maker. The upcoming film pivots the heated real-life rivalry between tennis pros Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King, who in 1973 competed against one another in what became known as “The Battle of the Sexes.” Match Maker, being produced by Chernin Entertainment and Gary Sanchez Productions (Ferrell’s production company with Anchorman director Adam McKay), comes from a script by Steve Conrad (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) and is based on the ESPN Magazine article, “The Match Maker: Bobby Riggs, The Mafia and The Battle of the Sexes.”
The infamous tennis match was watched by over 50 million people at the time and since become a pop cultural touchstone for not just sports, but gender equality. While Riggs lost the match, it was later speculated he folded on purpose in order to erase gambling debts he owed to the mob. With Ferrell in command, the results may be interesting. While the actor has dipped his toes in dramatic parts in the past (the indies Everything Must Go and Winter Passing), Match Maker might call for a more mix between the two, like the actor strode in the 2006 film Stranger Than Fiction, where Ferrell played the straight man to a bizarre selection of characters and equally bizarre premise. No actress has yet be announced for the part of King.
Ferrell was last seen in the Christmas hit Anchorman 2 and last heard in the blockbuster The Lego Movie. The actor is slated next to co-star with fellow SNL alum Kristen Wiig in the comedy Welcome to Me. Conrad, who looks for now just be writing the screenplay, will write and direct an upcoming John Belushi biopic with Emile Hirsch and Ellen Page.