In 1973, former tennis champ turned celebrity (and gambling addict) Bobby Riggs challenged the world’s top-ranked female tennis player, Billie Jean King, to a match that — he claimed — would prove which gender was superior. That publicity stunt captured the attention of the nation (and the world), and it’ll get the all-star dramatic treatment this month, when Battle of the Sexes arrives in theaters starring Oscar winner Emma Stone as King and Steve Carell as Riggs. Its first trailer promised a saga at once amusing, exasperating and inspiring — and in a new scene from the film, debuting exclusively at Yahoo Movies (watch it above), we get a sneak peek at Riggs’s initial attempt to convince King to agree to a match.
Watch a trailer for Battle of the Sexes:
Given his huckster-showman nature, it’s no surprise that, in the clip from Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’s upcoming movie, Riggs makes his call to King from a pay phone outside a rundown motel. And considering how obviously he wants to sell his proposed match as a publicity stunt — man versus woman! Chauvinist versus feminist! — it’s also far from shocking that Stone’s King seems to have no interest. Of course, the fact that the hyperactive Riggs is calling her in the middle of the night probably doesn’t help his cause.
No matter King’s initial reluctance to sign up for Riggs’s athletic carnival — history tells us that the two eventually squared off in a match at the Houston Astrodome, viewed by 50 million people in the U.S. and 90 million worldwide. While Battle of the Sexes probably won’t reach quite as many people during its initial theatrical run, it should be one of the fall’s big awards contenders (and crowd-pleasers) when it debuts in theaters on Sept. 22.
Watch a clip from American Masters: Billie Jean King:
Read more from Yahoo Movies: