An international trailer for the upcoming sports drama Borg vs. McEnroe has been released online. The game of tennis has been more underrepresented in the movies than perhaps any other sport. There was the Paul Bettany/Kirsten Dunst romantic comedy Wimbledon in 2004, and the absurdist HBO comedy 7 Days in Hell in 2015. Others have briefly touched on the game, such as Match Point, The Royal Tenenbaums and even Strangers on the Train.
The only exception has been a couple of different movies over the years about the 1973 inter-gender match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King. Another one, Battle of the Sexes – with Steve Carell and Emma Stone – is set for release this September. Also coming this year is Borg vs. McEnroe, a Swedish-produced film about the rivalry between Swede Bjorn Borg and American John McEnroe, and most specifically their Wimbledon match in 1980. Now, we have a new look at the film, directed by Danish filmmaker Janus Metz Pedersen, in which Swedish star Sverrir Gudnason plays Borg and Shia LaBeouf plays McEnroe.
A 30-second UK trailer, following the first one back in May, for Borg vs. McEnroe has debuted on the YouTube channel of Empire Magazine. The trailer touts “two tennis legends” and “Wimbledon’s Finest Hour,” as we see the two combatants arrive on the court at Wimbledon. You can watch it in the space above.
Both actors are dressed in a reasonable approximation of the two real players; we see LaBeouf with McEnroe’s signature curly hair and headband, and he even says the tennis star’s famous catchphrase, “you cannot be serious.” There’s also tennis action as well as training montages.
That 1980 match between McEnroe and Borg, which Borg won in five sets, is widely considered the best tennis match ever played, and took place at a time when tennis was at its height. Will people want to see a movie about tennis at a time when the game isn’t exactly in its prime anymore, and the heritage of feature films about tennis isn’t exactly robust?
The film seems likely to be a hit in Sweden at least, since it was made there and celebrates one of that nation’s great athletic heroes. And the film has quite an amazing true story to draw upon, including two compelling protagonists- even if it does seem to be taking at face value a lot of the same cliches that 7 Days in Hell was making fun of. And beyond that, Shia LaBeouf as John McEnroe is some truly inspired casting.
Source: Empire Magazine
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