- The first trailer for King Richard dropped on Wednesday.
- The film stars Will Smith as Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena.
- Movie fans think the 52-year-old can contend for an Academy Award with his performance.
When’s the last time you saw a Will Smith-starring movie that you loved? A movie that made you think to yourself, “Man, I sure do love that Will Smith.” Can you even remember? I couldn’t — I actually had to go look at his filmography to figure it out. While 2015’s Focus and Concussion are better films than given credit for, neither crack the Top 10 Will Smith movies of all time. You have to wind the clock all the way back to 2012 to find a legitimately good Will Smith movie, and that’s Men In Black III. Ever since then, our man has largely starred in misfires.
King Richard, though — which released its first trailer on Wednesday afternoon — could be the film that rounds Smith back into elite shape, as the biopic about Richard Williams, the driven father of Serena and Venus Williams, appears to be putting him in a juicy Oscar-bait role.
If the initial reaction from fans is any barometer, Smith has the makings of an awards season contender for the first time in over a decade:
Our timeline has been rather unchill as of late but being in the universe where we get a Will Smith Oscar speech would be pretty tight.
— Post Cred Pod (@PostCredPod) July 28, 2021
Based solely off of a 150 second trailer released 7 months before the ceremony, I'm prepared to give Will Smith his first Oscar right now. https://t.co/okSMnlcEu5
— Derek Lawrence (@derekjlawrence) July 28, 2021
— Clayton Davis (@ByClaytonDavis) July 28, 2021
The tone of the trailer for 'King Richard' was lighter than I expected and feels like a very middle of the road crowdpleaser. That can only be a good thing for the film and for Will Smith's third chance at an Oscar.
— Erik Anderson (@awards_watch) July 28, 2021
Nothing would make me happier than to see Will Smith join this year’s Oscar race. It looks possible from this trailer. Rooting for King Richard to be great. https://t.co/SaPXcYnMfs
— Austin Burke (@theBurk3nator) July 28, 2021
Studios are hit and miss with trailers and I rarely watch them unless I am in a theater, but whoever edited the trailer for King Richard deserves an award.
Will Smith is coming for that Oscar.
— Ricky Valero (@rickyvalero_) July 28, 2021
KING RICHARD poster. Will Smith stars as the father of two of the greatest tennis players of all time, the Williams sisters. November 19 on HBO Max and in theaters. This is what you call Oscar hopeful. pic.twitter.com/FskNFeEsyC
— Dan Buffa (@buffa82) July 28, 2021
Trailer got me emotional already. This could be the film that gives Will Smith his first Oscar.
— Sulama Traoré (@SulamaTraore) July 28, 2021
Odd timing (and #Oscars2022 hopes aside), this first trailer for @wbpictures' #KingRichard looks like exactly like the kind of movie we all swear Hollywood never releases and #WillSmith no longer makes. via @Forbes by @ScottMendelson https://t.co/DfdEAJ0Iix
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) July 28, 2021
“King Richard” Is undoubtedly Will Smith’s Oscar film hopeful this year. My biggest concern is that the story is about his daughters more than him. It looks like it should primarily be Their story.
— Kevin The Critic (@kevin_thecritic) July 28, 2021
— 🎞 Ilir Hyseni 🎞 (@IlirCinephile) July 28, 2021
Perhaps most importantly, similar to Leonardo DiCaprio when he won for The Revenantor Brad Pitt when he won for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Will Smith is, simply, due for Academy Award glory. Once you’ve reached a certain level of fame and/or stardom, Hollywood — The Academy in particular — wants to recognize and immortalize that contribution to Tinsletown’s history with something tangible. Smith, previously nominated for Best Actor his performances in Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness, has been one of the business’ most recognizable faces for over a quarter-century, making this the perfect time to crown those 25-plus years of excellence with an Oscar win.
King Richard will hit theaters and HBO Max in the United States on Friday, November 19. In addition to Smith, the film stars Aunjanue Ellis, Jon Bernthal, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Tony Goldwyn, and Dylan McDermott.