Jon Bernthal to star as tennis coach Rich Macci in Williams sisters biopic

The movie will focus on how Richard Williams guided his daughters to tennis greatness

Jon Bernthal will star as tennis coach Rich Macci in a new movie about Venus and Serena Williams, it has been revealed.

King Richard is set to tell the story of Richard Williams (played by Will Smith) and how he guided his daughters – who grew up in the working class Compton, California – to tennis greatness.

Coming off his role as Lee Iacocca in Ford V Ferrari, Bernthal will take on the role of Rich Macci, the man responsible for training Venus and Serena from a very young age, as per Deadline.


Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton are set to play the young Venus and Serena respectively, while Aunjanue Ellis will play their mother, Brandi.

Venus and Serena Williams
Richard Williams with his daughters Venus and Serena in 1991. CREDIT: Paul Harris/Online USA

Slated for a November 25 release, King Richard is being directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green. Smith is among the producing team, with wife Jada Pinkett Smith and her brother, Caleb Pinkett, also serving as executive producers.

Zach Baylin is penning the script.

The Williams sisters were still teenagers when Serena, now 38, won the US Open in 1999 and Venus, 39, won Wimbledon in 2000. Serena has gone on to win a total of 23 individual Grand Slam tournaments, whilst Venus has won seven Grand Slam titles.


Meanwhile, the 2020 Oscar nominations have been announced ahead of the winners ceremony on February 9. Jon Bernthal’s Ford vs Ferrari has been nominated for four awards, including Best Picture.