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Principal photography begins on Battle of the Sexes

Battle of the Sexes

Story by Jack Foley

PRINCIPAL photography has begun on Battle of the Sexes in Los Angeles.

The film stars Oscar-nominees Emma Stone (Birdman, The Help) and Steve Carell (Foxcatcher, The Big Short) and follows the story of two tennis greats: Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, creators of the Oscar-winning Little Miss Sunshine and indie favourite Ruby Sparks, have turned their attention to a period in 1970’s America that presaged a cultural tsunami.

The electrifying 1973 tennis match between World No1. Billie Jean King (Stone) and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Carell) was billed as ‘the battle of the sexes’ and became the most watched televised sports event of all time.

The match caught the zeitgeist and sparked a global conversation on gender equality, spurring on the feminist movement. Trapped in the media glare, King and Riggs were on opposites sides of a binary argument, but off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles.

With a supportive husband urging her to fight the Establishment for equal pay, the fiercely private King was also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, while Riggs gambled his legacy and reputation in a bid to relive the glories of his past.

Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis courts and animated the discussions between men and women in bedrooms and boardrooms around the world.

One of the film’s producers, Robert Graf, commented: “I remember watching the original Battle of the Sexes in 1973 and, even as a boy, recognizing it as both an irresistible pop spectacle and part of an important cultural conversation about equality and respect – a conversation that continues vigorously today and to which we hope our film will contribute.”

Battle of the Sexes also stars Sarah Silverman (Masters of Sex, I Smile Back), Alan Cumming (The Good Wife, X-Men 2), Andrea Riseborough (Birdman), Eric Christian Olsen (CSI: Los Angeles), Natalie Morales (The Grinder), Austin Stowell (Bridge of Spies, Whiplash), Wallace Langham (Ruby Sparks, Little Miss Sunshine), Jessica McNamee (Last Days Of Summer), Mickey Sumner (The End Of The Tour) and Bill Pullman (LBJ, The Equalizer).

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