By Brent Lang
Tennis’ most famous duelists will help kick off this year’s Toronto Film Festival.
Borg/McEnroe, a new drama about the longterm rivalry between the unflappable Swedish tennis star Björn Borg and the hard-charging American John McEnroe will have its world premiere as the opening night gala film at Roy Thomson Hall on September 7.
There could be controversy associated with the decision to break out the tennis whites for the glitzy event. Last month, Shia LaBeouf, who stars as McEnroe, was arrested for public intoxication and caught on camera telling a black police officer that he will go to hell because of his skin color. LaBeouf apologized for his remarks, saying he was “deeply ashamed.”
“I have been struggling with addiction publicly for far too long,” he added.
The opening night slot can be a mixed bag. Last year, The Magnificent Seven kicked off the festival to solid notices and box office success. However, past Toronto’s have opened with duds such as The Judge, Demolition, and The Fifth Estate.
The film is directed by Janus Metz (Armadillo) and written by Ronnie Sandahl (Underdog). Sverrir Gudnason and Stellan Skarsgård co-star.
Neon, a new distribution company backed by former Radius/TWC chief Tom Quinn and Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League, will release Borg/McEnroe in North America in 2018.
The festival runs from September 7 to 17, 2017, and will include screenings of George Clooney’s Suburbicon, Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father, and Darren Aronofsky’s mother!