The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will kick off a 10 day run of films from all over the world with Borg/McEnroe movie.
Borg/McEnroe tells the story of the epic rivalry between Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) and his greatest adversary, the brash and volatile American John McEnroe (Shia LaBeouf), which came to a head during the 1980 Wimbledon Championships.
Borg/McEnroe recreates the legendary 1980 Wimbledon Championship match between the two tennis pros and the media frenzy and the private angst experienced by the players during their time on and off the court.
“This is epic. It’s f—ing epic. This is the biggest movie I’ve been in lately.” Shia LaBeouf on Borg/McEnroe movie.
LaBeouf admits that when he first read the script and found out that Janus Metz would be directing, he chased the opportunity to play McEnroe. It also helped that he felt a connection to the the volatile tennis player.
“Yes, you look for parallels in your life, and I’m lucky because there is a lot here,” LaBeouf told Variety. “Everything in common. Passionate. Perfectionist. Narcissistic. I’m a bit of a caricature also.”
By 1980, Sweden’s Borg (Gudnason) has already won Wimbledon four times. He is 24 years old, adored, wealthy, and engaged to be married. Yet despite his serene public persona, Borg has been tormented by anxiety all his life. His opponent, New Yorker John McEnroe (LaBeouf), is a wizard on the court, a whirlwind of fury and precision. The public loves to loathe McEnroe, who on the court can explode at any moment into tantrums of expletive-laden insults directed at umpires and spectators alike. But McEnroe also suffers mental anguish. Both men will bring their immense talents — and inner demons — with them when they finally face off in one of the most suspenseful events in tennis history.
And with Borg/McEnroe opening gala kicking off the festival, LaBeouf couldn’t be more happier. “This is epic. It’s f—ing epic. This is the biggest movie I’ve been in lately,” he said describing the movie.
Borg/McEnroe movie opens TIFF 2017 on Thursday, September 7.
—Compiled by Toni-Marie Ippolito