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Danny Boyle To Direct Film About 1973 "Battle Of The Sexes" Tennis Match Between Billie Jean King & Bobby Riggs

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 19, 2014 at 1:25PM

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Billie Jean King Bobby Riggs Danny Boyle

Following the release of "Trance," Danny Boyle has piling up potential next projects. "We're working on two period pieces at the moment, but they won't be like, 'Downton Abbey' period movies," the director told us last spring, teasing one was an adaptation of a book (which he wouldn't name), while the other is being written by John Hodge. Of course, there's also the long talked about "Trainspotting" sequel brewing, plus a feature take on the documentary "Smash And Grab." Now, you can add another one to the pile.

The NY Post reports that Boyle has quietly started work on a biopic on famed tennis player Billie Jean King, with the film focusing on her legendary match against Bobby Riggs in 1973. Dubbed "The Battle Of The Sexes," the match found Riggs coming out of retirement at the age of 55 to play King in a best-of-five showdown (she had initially turned him down, but eventually took on the showboating Riggs, who taunted female tennis players as a whole). King dominated Riggs, winning three straight sets, devastating the former champion. Last year, the match made its way back in the headlines when rumors surfaced that Riggs had intentionally thrown the match for the mob, in order to pay off debts, an accusation that King strongly denies.

"Slumdog Millionaire" and "127 Hours" scribe Simon Beaufoy is penning the script, with project still seemingly in early stages, and the project apparently has the involvement of King herself. Until more details emerge, check out a new reports on match-fixing allegations, a clip featuring Holly Hunter as King from the 2001 TV docudrama movie "When Billie Beat Bobby," a vintage "60 Minutes" interview with Riggs and an "American Masters" interview with King.

This article is related to: Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy


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