Titled Borg vs McEnroe, Janus Metz Pedersen’s tennis drama will feature newcomer Sverrir Gudnason as Björn Borg and Stellan Skarsgård as his coach
Swedish newcomer Sverrir Gudnason is to portray the taciturn Swede Björn Borg, whose cool demeanour contrasted dramatically with his American opponent’s fiery temperament, during their late-70s, early-80s rivalry. Stellan Skarsgård has signed on to play the Scandinavian two-hander’s coach, Lennart Bergelin.
Variety reports the two leads have already begun training for their roles.
Danish director Janus Metz Pedersen, best known for 2010 Cannes festival hit war documentary Armadillo and episodes of HBO’s True Detective, will work from a screenplay by Underdog’s Ronnie Sandahl. The film-maker aims to begin shooting this autumn in Sweden, London, Monaco and New York for a 2017 release date, according to The Wrap.
Borg won Wimbledon five times in a row between 1976 and 1980, while McEnroe went on to win the 1981, 1983 and 1984 men’s singles finals.
LaBeouf can currently be seen as magazine subscription salesman Jake in Andrea Arnold’s debut US-set film, road movie American Honey. The film is currently in competition for the top Palme D’Or prize at the Cannes film festival.
At a press conference on Sunday, LaBeouf said he felt connected to both roles.
“Jake is me. So is McEnroe. That’s it, man,” he told reporters. “I understand these people, I empathise with them. I get it. You turn things up and turn things down. It’s me.” LaBeouf also said his backhand was “getting there”.
This article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Monday 16th May 2016 13.34 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010