Is King Richard Movie a True Story? What's Accurate vs. Fake

By David Thompson Posted:
Will Smith in King Richard movie

Based on real-life events and famous athletes, how much of Will Smith's King Richard is a true story?

Will Smith takes on the role of Richard Williams, who is not only the father of renowned tennis players Venus and Serena Williams but also their coach.

The film received six nominations at the 94th Academy Awards, among them being one for Best Picture; this included a win for Smith in the Best Actor category.

However, following its streaming release on Netflix, many viewers are wondering about the validity of King Richard.

Was Richard Williams a Good Father?

Will Smith and Jon Bernthal in King Richard movie
King Richard

While this question is rather subjective and only a few people on Earth can truly answer, it's clear that his movie portrayal was a favorable one.

The film's omission of controversial details and selective portrayal of Richard Williams' parenting methods have raised questions about its accuracy.

Certain aspects of Williams' parenting methods, such as banning his daughters from dating and discouraging early motherhood, are absent from the film. 

The signs displayed by Williams, as described in a New Yorker article, differ from those depicted in the film. 

King Richard's favorable depiction of Will Smith's character overlooks some questionable tactics he employed to guide his daughters' careers.

Is the William Sister's Upbringing Accurate?

King Richard accurately portrays the core biographical details of the Williams family's background and journey. 

Richard Williams indeed grew up in Louisiana and faced encounters with the Ku Klux Klan. 

The Williams sisters were raised in Compton, California, where their father began to dedicate much of his life to them one day becoming professional tennis players.

While the film presents Richard Williams' initial interest in tennis differently, it maintains the factual foundation of their upbringing and early experiences in the sport.

Did Richard Williams Control the Kong Richard Story?

While Richard Williams didn't receive much official credit in the making of King Richard, his presence is felt.

Williams' autobiography, Black and White: The Way I See It, released in 2014, influenced aspects of King Richard, despite the film not being an official adaptation. 

Several anecdotes from the book, including his encounter with a gang member, found their way into the film. 

While the film offers a compelling narrative, viewers are advised to approach the story critically, recognizing it as a particular interpretation of events, not a biography.

Did the Williams Sisters Help Make the Movie?

The film involved extensive collaboration with the Williams family to ensure authenticity. 

Isha Price, one of Richard Williams' daughters, became an executive producer on the project, ensuring that the portrayal stayed true to their family's story. 

The Williams family provided insights and corrections, ensuring the film captured the essence of their experiences. 

After reviewing the final project, Venus and Serena decided to serve as executive producers for the film. They claim that the movie accurately reflects reality to the best of its ability.

King Richard was recently slapped onto Netflix while simultaneously streaming on Max.

- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.