Will Ferrell is set to play Bobby Riggs in Match Maker, a movie about the legendary “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match in 1973. The drama, likely to have punchlines laced throughout, comes from writer Steve Conrad who also wrote the recent Ben Stiller film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Ferrell is no stranger to sports films or dramas. The Anchorman 2 star played basketball in Semi-Pro and drove NASCAR in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. He’s even taken on drama roles, like in Stranger Than Fiction. Match Maker is based mainly on Don Van Natta Jr.’s 2013 ESPN magazine article, The Match Maker: Bobby Riggs, the Mafia and the Battle of the Sexes.
Bobby Riggs famously came out of retirement in the early 70s to challenge one of the world’s greatest female players, Margaret Court. Four months after defeating Court, the 55-year old Riggs played against 29-year old Billie Jean King on national television. He suffered a dramatic loss to King, although there has been speculation that he may have thrown the match in order to pay off alleged gambling debts. Based on his past roles, Ferrell would make an excellent choice as the sexist past-his-prime tennis star who challenged some of the top female tennis players in an attempt to cash in on the Man vs. Woman angle. Ricky Bobby, Jackie Moon, and Ron Burgundy have all been vain self-motivated misogynists who end up serving as parodies of a certain brand of man. Combined with Conrad’s now-proven ability to blend comedy and dramatic elements, Match Maker will make the Battle of the Sexes Will Ferrell’s newest Hollywood hit.