Eric Christian Olsen, best known for “NCIS: Los Angeles,” has signed on for the tennis pic, “Battle of the Sexes.”
Olsen joins a stacked cast that includes Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Sarah Silverman, Elisabeth Shue and Andrea Riseborough. The filmmakers behind “Little Miss Sunshine,” Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, are directing. Simon Beaufoy (“Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “127 Hours”) penned the screenplay.
Stone is set to play the female lead role of Billie Jean King. Following a win over a different female player, Margaret Court, former Wimbledon champ Bobby Riggs taunted all female tennis players for a match. This prompted the 29-year-old King to agree to a televised match against the 55-year-old Riggs, which would come to be known as “Battle of the Sexes.”
King would proceed to beat Riggs and take home the $100,000 winner-takes-all prize in 1973. The match was watched by an estimated 90 million people globally, making it the most-watched tennis match of all time. “Battle of the Sexes” would have a lasting legacy on women’s tennis.
Carell is playing the role of Riggs in the film. Deadline reports that Olsen will portray Lornie Kuhle, a close friend of Riggs and a fellow tennis pro who became Riggs’ advisor after he challenged female pros to a match.
Variety reports that Silverman will play founder of World Tennis magazine, Gladys Heldman, who also helped organize a female-only circuit following widespread complaints from female competitors that they were not being paid as much as their male counterparts.
“Battle of the Sexes” is aiming for an April start date and 2017 release.