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Not content to have just one professional-tennis-driven drama on its slate, the Toronto International Film Festival doubled down today by announcing that Shia LaBeouf's Borg/McEnroe would be the film fest's opening night film, where it will make its World Premiere. Borg/McEnroe joins Battle of the Sexes -- the Emma Stone and Steve Carell vehicle -- that was announced as one of the centerpiece titles earlier this month.
Directed by Janus Metz, the tennis drama Borg/McEnroe relays the true, competitive story of the pro-sports rivalry between Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) and his greatest adversary, John McEnroe (Shia LaBeouf). The intense rivalry came to a head during the 1980 Wimbledon Championships, which will be recreated for the movie.
On the selection of Borg/McEnroe as the Opening Night film for the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, Artistic Director Cameron Bailey states:
Janus Metz's Armadillo is a gripping war documentary that took home the Critics Week Grand Prize at Cannes. Amazingly, Metz brings that same urgent tension to Borg/McEnroe. The on-court scenes have the dynamism of a street battle, and the drama peels back layers from what we know about both players. This was more than a simple conflict pitting an icy European against an impulsive American. Audiences are in for one hell of a showdown.
Want to get a sense of what is in store from this upcoming sports drama? The red-band trailer for Borg/McEnroe recently dropped. Check it out right here:
As mentioned, Borg/McEnroe will not be the only tennis drama unfolding on the screens in the Great White North during the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival. Earlier, TIFF confirmed that Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' Battle of the Sexes will play in the Special Presentations section of the 2017 slate. Similar to Borg/McEnroe, that movie will follow the on-court tensions between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) that took place in 1973. As with Borg and McEnroe, their personalities couldn't be more different, and the match took on greater meaning off the court, as social and political issues were attached to the outcomes in each game.
We will work on brushing up on all of our tennis analogies before heading off to the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from September 7 to 17.