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Will Smith Had A More Shocking King Richard Transformation Planned – Screen Rant

Will Smith originally had a much more shocking physical transformation planned for King Richard, though the director rejected the idea.
Will Smith originally had a much more shocking transformation planned for King Richard, but was rejected by director Reinaldo Marcus Green. Written by Zach Baylin in his screenwriting debut, the upcoming biopic stars Smith as Richard Williams, the father and coach of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams. The film follows Richard as he utilizes unconventional coaching methods to elevate his teenage daughters from the streets of Compton, California to the global icons they are known as today.
Smith shares billing with Aunjanue Ellis as his wife, Brandi Williams, Saniyya Sidney as Venus, and Demi Singleton as Serena. Jon Bernthal also stars as Rick Macci, the famed pro-tennis coach. Green’s film was one of many projects that was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it finally debuted at festivals this past September, with critics strongly praising Smith’s King Richard performance. The film will debut in theaters and on HBO Max later this month, on November 19.
Related: HBO Max: Every Movie & TV Show Coming In November 2021
Now, in an interview with Insider, King Richard‘s director reveals that Smith and Warner Bros. originally had a much more shocking transformation planned, but he put the kibosh to it. The makeup and prosthetic department spent hours transforming Smith into Williams, which everyone seemed excited about – expect for the director. While he thought they did a fantastic job on the physical transformation, Green simply didn’t want that for the film, instead opting for a little grey in Smith’s hair and beard. Read what the director had to say below:
They made him look like Richard Williams, it was straight-up shocking. I was like, “Look, you guys did an incredible job, but I don’t want that.” Will has his acting coach who has been with him for 30 movies, he had a dialect coach so he could speak similar to Richard, we have so much. And it would have been three hours of Will being in the makeup chair every day. Who wants to do that? I looked at Will straight in the eye and said, “Look, we don’t need that.” We don’t need him to look like Will Smith. We need him to sink in and disappear, but that doesn’t mean making him look like Richard.
A drastic physical transformation is generally a surefire way to garner Oscar attention, and while that’s not the route Smith ended up taking in King Richard, it apparently wasn’t for his lack of trying. Even without spending hours in the makeup chair every day, Smith is stirring up Oscar buzz with his latest performance. Though he has been nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role before, for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness, he has never won the award.
Whether or not Smith takes home Oscar gold for the first time remains to be seen. If he does, he can take comfort in the knowledge that it was on the back of his acting talent, rather than a physical transformation. It was a bold call for Green to defy both the studio and his lead star, but one that appears to be paying dividends early on as King Richard continues to rack up good press.
Next: Every Upcoming Will Smith Movie
Source: Insider
Adam Bentz is a movie and TV news writer for Screen Rant. From a young age, Adam has been interested in a wide range of movies and television, but it was talented auteurs like Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Aaron Sorkin who ultimately sparked his interest in the craft. Motivated by his love for the screen, Adam studied creative writing with a concentration in screenwriting at Southern New Hampshire University. After graduating, Adam interned as a writer with The Borgen Project, a nonprofit organization working to end extreme poverty. Other than writing for Screen Rant, Adam reviews films on his website


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