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Elizabeth Banks to Star as Billie Jean King in Battle of the Sexes Movie

Elizabeth Banks to Star as Billie Jean King in Battle of the Sexes Movie

Elizabeth Banks (left) | Billie Jean King

The HBO film about the 1973 tennis match will also star Paul Giamatti as Bobby Riggs.


Pictured: Elizabeth Banks at Hunger Games Catching Fire (Getty) | Billie Jean King (archival)

She's been called the "most important female athlete of the 20th century," and now Billie Jean King, the 71-year-old sports legend, is going to be portrayed by a sassy blond bombshell.

According to Variety, Elizabeth Banks will star as King in a film version of the famous 1973 "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match between King and Bobby Riggs. Paul Giamatti will play Riggs. The project remains untitled, but it seems it should just be Battle of the Sexes, right? The fact that two hilarious actors, known for losing themselves in their characters (Banks has been nearly unrecognizable when costumed and bewigged in the Hunger Games films) should be particularly telling.

Not only does King, a lesbian icon, emody the epitome of sportsmanship to millions, she's also an outspoken activist and, for more than 50 years, her excellence has inspired generations. Unfortunately the match, which took place when King was 29 and was billed as the "ultimate contest" between a man and a woman, has been called into question as of late, with one man claiming that Riggs threw the match due to gambling debts.

No matter what, the project sounds like it will be an epic battle of comedic wits. We just hope they don't make Giamatti do some crazy workout regime and shed all his chubby charm. But Banks better working on those guns to get into Billie Jean-style shape. Just don't get too crazy with the mullett.

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