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‘Borg/McEnroe,’ starring Shia LaBeouf, to open Toronto film festival

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — A biopic starring Shia LaBeouf as tennis great John McEnroe will open the Toronto International Film Festival.

Organizers made the announcement on Monday, noting this will be the world premiere of “Borg/McEnroe.”

The film tells the story of the epic rivalry between the American tennis star and Sweden’s Bjorn Borg, which came to a head at Wimbledon in 1980.

Swedish actor Sverrir Gudnason plays Borg.

Janus Metz directed and Ronnie Sandahl wrote the film, which will be the opening night gala on Sept. 7.

Last week TIFF unveiled the first slate of films for the 42nd annual celebration of cinema, which runs through Sept. 17.

The lineup includes another tennis biopic — “Battle Of The Sexes,” starring Steve Carell and Emma Stone in a story inspired by the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

Other films headed to the fest include George Clooney’s “Suburbicon,” Angelina Jolie’s “First They Killed My Father,” and the Tragically Hip documentary “Long Time Running.”

“‘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.

“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.”

“Audiences are in for one hell of a showdown,” added Cameron Bailey, artistic director of TIFF.

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