Will Smith, Warner Bros, and Others Sued Over Upcoming Movie About Venus and Serena Williams' Father (UPDATE)

'King Richard' is at the center of a lawsuit over an alleged book rights deal. The movie, meanwhile, is set for release in late 2021 following a COVID-19 delay.


Image via Getty/Jason Merritt


UPDATED 8/10 6 11:10 a.m. ET: The parties involved in the lawsuit have reached a "deal," Deadline reports.

According to documents, they've "entered into a settlement of this matter, and Plaintiffs are dismissing their claims against these defendants with prejudice." It's unclear what the terms of the deal are, though as Deadline points out, TW3 Entertainment and Power Move Multi Media are expected to receive some form of payment.

See original story below.

Will Smith and Warner Bros. are among those named in a new lawsuit over the upcoming movie King Richard, which is based on the life of Venus and Serena Williams' father Richard Williams.

Deadlinedetailed the "often convoluted" lawsuit in a report released Wednesday. Smith's Overbrook Entertainment, Warner Bros., Richard Williams, Williams' son Chavoita Lesane, production company Star Thrower Entertainment, and others are listed as defendants.

In short, plaintiffs allege they purchased rights to Williams' book for $10,000 three years ago from Lesane. The parties, TW3 Entertainment and Power Move Multi Media, now want unspecified damages from the movie and an injunction that would require "all profits" for any project using the rights to be put into a trust for their benefit.

"Defendant Warner Bros. used Plaintiffs' ideas and materials in King Richard, and such ideas and materials provide substantial value to Defendant," the lawsuit, filed in LA Superior Court this week, states. Plaintiffs also point to their assessment of this case as representing a "cold and calculating misappropriation and interference" with their intellectual property.

King Richard is directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and is currently due for release in late 2021, having already been hit with a date delay due to COVID-19 production pauses. Smith is joined in the cast by Aunjanue Ellis, Demi Singleton, Saniyya Sidney, Jon Bernthal, Liev Schreiber, and Dylan McDermott.

Per Deadline's report on Wednesday, neither Overbrook nor Warner Bros. had released a statement regarding the suit, at least not at the time of this writing.

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