According to Indie Wire, the film's studio, Warner Bros., has tapped Reinaldo Marcus Green to direct the film about Richard Williams, the iconic tennis pros' tenacious father. This marks the first time in Smith's lengthy career that he will star in a feature film directed by a Black filmmaker.
King Richard will mark Green's first studio effort following his feature directorial debut with Monsters and Men, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018. The film, which won the Special Jury Award for Outstanding First Feature, was picked up by distributor Neon and was released in fall 2018.
As previously reported, Smith's company, Overbrook Entertainment, will produce the film. The story will show the meticulous skill and commitment Richard Williams put towards his daughters' careers in tennis, leading to them becoming two of the greatest athletes in history.
Since it was announced that the Aladdin star will be filling the movie's lead role, there has been some pushback on social media with many offering critiques of colorism as Richard Williams boasts a much darker complexion than Smith.