Shia LaBeouf’s “Borg/McEnroe” will open the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 7, the festival announced on Monday.
Directed by Janus Metz and written by Ronnie Sandahl, the film stars LaBeouf, Sverrir Gudnason and Stellan Skarsgard. It tells the story of the epic rivalry between Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg (Gudnason) and the American John McEnroe (LaBeouf), which came head-to-head during the 1980 Wimbledon Championships.
“‘Borg/McEnroe’ has a powerful tension about it that is on par with the electric energy of Toronto on Opening Night,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF. “The story of this nail-biter matchup changed the sport of tennis forever, and the outstanding performances from LaBeouf and Gudnason will be a spectacular way for Festival-goers to kick things off.”
Metz added, “I am extremely honored by TIFF’s selection of ‘Borg/McEnroe’ as the opening film. It is a great celebration and recognition of everyone in the cast and crew who worked so hard to make this film what it is. We had very high ambitions for this project and have come such a long way together. I’m very excited that we can finally let the film out into the world, and I couldn’t dream of a better way of doing this.”
“Borg/McEnroe” is produced by Jon Nohrstedt and Fredrik Wikström Nicastro, at SF Studios. It is co-produced with Film | Väst, SVT, Nordisk Film, Sirena Film, SF Studios Production APS and Yellow Film & TV with support from the Swedish Film Institute, Nordisk Film & TV Fund, the Danish Film Institute, the Finnish Film Foundation, DR and YLE and co-founded by the European Union Creative Europe Media. NEON will distribute the film in North America next year.
This year’s TIFF runs from Sept. 7 to Sept. 17.