Jon Bernthal is in negotiations to portray Venus and Serena Williams’ tennis coach Rick Macci in upcoming sports drama King Richard.
The Punisher actor will portray the famed tennis coach, who made a deal with Richard Williams to train his daughters Venus and Serena and hone their talent while they were young children, according to Deadline.
The coach, who is now 65 years old, trained five number other one players, including Andy Roddick, Jennifer Capriati, and Maria Sharapova, throughout his sports career.
Bernthal shared the casting news on Instagram with the caption, “Big. Love. Y’all. Very grateful.”
He joins a cast that already includes Will Smith as Richard Williams, the main focus of the film, which documents how he guided his daughters from the tennis courts of Compton, California to become world number ones.
The cast also includes child stars Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton as the young Venus and Serena Williams, and Aunjanue Ellis as their mother, Oracene Price.
The film, which is slated for cinema release in November, is being directed by Monsters and Men’s Reinaldo Marcus Green from a script by Zach Baylin. Producers include Tim White, Trevor White, and James Lassiter, with Allan Mandelbaum, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Caleeb Pinkett serving as executive producers.
Bernthal, 43, was recently seen in Oscar-nominated movie Ford v Ferrari. His upcoming projects include a lead role in The Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark, and Taylor Sheridan’s Those Who Wish Me Dead, opposite Angelina Jolie and Nicholas Hoult.
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