As of late, American rapper and actor, Will Smith, is very busy. Having stepped down from returning as Deadshot in the sequel to Suicide Squad, Smith is working in a number of other films such as Disney’s live-action and Guy Ritchie directed Aladdin as the beloved Genie character, the third installment of the Bad Boys franchise, Bad Boys For Life, and the upcoming animated film, Spies in Disguise. Yet this isn’t all, as Smith is poised to play American tennis coach, Richard Williams, in an upcoming biopic titled King Richard.
News of such, originally reported by Deadline, came from a spec script by American screenwriter, Zach Baylin, that set Smith to portray the father of the Williams sisters— two of the most prominent American tennis players in recent history. The script centers around Richard Williams’ efforts to raise and train his daughters to become two of the greatest athletes to play the sport, showing the difficulties he faced in having to do so as well as his eventual success.
Upon release of the news that Smith was being eyed for the role of Williams in a biopic, a bit of controversy was sparked. Some took to social media to voice their concerns about the possible casting, citing the issue as Smith’s skin being “too light” to have him act as Williams who holds a darker complexion.
Obviously nothing against Will Smith, but why is he playing Venus and Serena's Father?? Yes, the man can act but for the love of God there are dark-skinned Black men that can act too.
They can get one these men to do it or maybe even give an unknown actor a shot. pic.twitter.com/CTdxVTMT2v
— Neysha @ #SXSW (@La_Ney_sha) March 5, 2019
Colorism matters..love will Smith but there are other black actors for this role https://t.co/qrV1QuBiJH
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) March 5, 2019
It is unclear whether Smith will address the concerns and there has not yet been any word or opinion from the Williams family on the possible casting. The project is still in extremely early stages of development but both Tim White and Trevor White will produce the project under Star Thrower Entertainment alongside Smith under Overbrook Entertainment.