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The Toronto International Film Festival on Monday said Borg/McEnroe will open its 42nd edition with a world premiere Sept. 7.
Directed by Janus Metz, the film, set to be released by Neon in North America in 2018, stars Shia LaBeouf, Sverrir Gudnason and Stellan Skarsgard.
“Borg/McEnroe has a powerful tension about it that is on par with the electric energy of Toronto on opening night,” Piers Handling, director and CEO of TIFF, said in a statement.
LaBeouf plays tennis bad boy John McEnroe in the biopic about one of the greatest sports rivalries of all time, as Borg/McEnroe traces the long-running battle for supremacy in the tennis world between McEnroe and Swedish star Bjorn Borg in the 1970s and 1980s
The European title joins Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s Battle of the Sexes, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, already in the TIFF lineup. In Borg/McEnroe, Swedish actor Gudnason (A Serious Game) plays Borg and Skarsgard plays Borg’s coach Lennart Bergelin. Danish helmer Metz, whose war documentary Armadillo won the grand prize at Cannes’ Critics’ Week in 2010, directed the pic.
The cool, emotionless Borg and the wild, tantrum-throwing McEnroe faced each other 14 times on the professional tennis circuit between 1978 and 1981, each winning seven of their matches. Their two Wimbledon finals, in 1980 and 1981, are considered among the greatest ever in the sport.
Sweden’s SF Studios and Film Vast co-produced Borg/McEnroe together with Swedish Television and Yellow Film & TV. SF Studios is handling international sales of the film.
TIFF earlier set as its closing-night film another European title, C’est La Vie!, from directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano and starring Gilles Lellouche and Suzanne Clement. The French pic from the helming duo behind The Intouchables and Samba follows the story of a caterer planning a large wedding reception amid a series of mishaps.
Last year’s festival opened with Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven, starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt.
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