Natalie Morales is hitting the court for Battle of the Sexes, the Fox Searchlight pic about the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Emma Stone and Steve Carell are set as the leads. Morales will play Rosie Casals, a one of “The 9” — the first women to form their own tennis league and go on tour. She became good friends with King and supported her leading up to the big match with Riggs. Jonathan Faris and Valerie Dayton are directing the film from a script by Simon Beaufoy. Morales co-stars on Fox’s The Grinder, and her credits also include Trophy Wife, Parks and Recreation, Girls and 90210. She is repped by UTA and Bleecker Street Entertainment.
Jimmy Smagula has booked a role in Rebel in the Rye, the J.D. Salinger biopic from Empire co-creator Danny Strong that follows the author as he prepares to write his classic novel The Catcher in the Rye. Smagula will play John Woodburn, the Little, Brown editor who agreed to publish Catcher in the Rye in 1951 after it had been rejected elsewhere. Nicholas Hoult plays Salinger, and Kevin Spacey also stars along with Zoey Deutch, Laura Dern, Brian D’Arcy James and Hope Davis. Smagula’s credits include guest roles on such series as Bones, Community, Rizzoli & Isles and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He is repped by by Talent House LA and Advanced Management.