Overbrook Entertainment, the production company owned by Will Smith, has reached a settlement deal in a lawsuit over the rights to King Richard – the life story of Serena and Venus Williams’ father, Richard Williams.
TW3 Entertainment and Power Move Multimedia insisted they purchased the rights to Williams’ 2014 memoir, Black and White: The Way I See It, from Williams’ son, Chavoita Lesane, in 2017. Lesane was allegedly granted power of attorney by his father for the ‘purposes of dealing with film and media rights for his book,’ and was reportedly involved in the initial drafting of a script. However, Williams later sold the rights to his biopic for King Richard for $1 million (£800,000).
Claiming they were the true owners of the tennis coach’s life rights, TW3 Entertainment and Power Move Multimedia took the matter to court in June. As well as Overlook Entertainment and Lesane, Warner Bros., production company Star Thrower Entertainment, and its executives Timothy and Trevor White were named as defendants in the suit.
Now, Entertainment Tonight has obtained court documents showing that Overlook executives have agreed to a settlement. Although TW3 Entertainment and Power Move Multimedia will dismiss their claims against defendants with prejudice, both parties requested that the court retain ‘jurisdiction over the Parties to enforce the payment term in the settlement’.
King Richard is tipped for release in 2021, with Smith playing Richard, Saniyya Sidney as Venus and Demi Singleton as Serena.