There’s a clear difference between being a movie star and an actor, and it wouldn’t be harsh to suggest that Will Smith has experienced a great deal more success in the former category. Whenever he tends to indulge in a spot of Acting with a capital ‘A’, the results have tended to be fairly mixed.
Smith may have landed two Academy Award nominations for his fantastic performances in Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness, but other titles like Seven Pounds, Concussion and Collateral Beauty felt like precision-engineered attempts at awards season glory. However, upcoming biopic King Richard has the potential to launch him straight to the forefront of the conversation when the next batch of trophies start getting handed out early next year.
Set for a prime prestige drama release date of mid-November, King Richard tells the story of how Venus and Serena Williams’ father took his daughters from the streets of Compton to the top of the world, training them to become two of the greatest tennis players in history, with Serena in particular now viewed as a global icon both on and off the court. The promo has generated more than a few emotional responses on social media, as you can see below.
Based on the footage, it’s a transformative performance from the leading man, who looks to have poured every ounce of himself into the role. It’s definitely the showiest we’ve seen him in a long time but not in a dismissive sense, and as he moves further into his 50s, perhaps now is the perfect time for the former Fresh Prince to remind people that there’s much more to his list of talents than simply flashing that megawatt grin and dropping a sly one-liner in a big budget blockbuster, with slavery story Emancipation also on the way.