The true story of Venus and Serena Williams's childhoods is about to hit the big screen. On 21 Oct., a new King Richard trailer dropped starring Will Smith as the legendary tennis sisters' father and coach, Richard Williams. But this time around, a new song from Beyoncé called "Be Alive" is stealing the show. In the emotional snippet, Beyoncé sings, "It feels so good to be alive, that's why I live my life with pride / Do you know how much we have pride? How hard we have to try?" The song is featured during the film's end credits, and it plays over real-life archival footage of Serena and Venus. And, in case you were wondering, "Be Alive" will make Beyoncé eligible for best original song at the 2022 Academy Awards.
As for the film's storyline itself, Richard knew his daughters Venus and Serena were destined for greatness and pushed them to become the superstar athletes we know today. Their family was surrounded by critics and doubters, but Richard's drive took Venus and Serena from young girls playing in Compton, CA, to revered names around the globe. Now, the real-life Williams sisters are superstar athletes, brand builders, renowned public speakers, fashion influencers, and executive producers of this film, among other titles.
However, King Richard is not without its controversy. Back in 2019 when Smith was rumoured to take on the film's lead role, Black entertainment critics expressed disappointment that Richard would not be portrayed by a dark-skinned actor. Richard's skin tone is noticeably darker than Smith's, and as former POPSUGAR editor Mekishana Pierre wrote, "[Richard's] family's trials and tribulations centre around their blackness and how people treated them because of it." Smith didn't comment on the criticism back in 2019 but will likely be expected to answer for this choice two years later.