Shia LeBeouf is taking to the court as legendary tennis player John McEnroe in the first teaser trailer for Borg/McEnroe. LaBeouf has experienced his share of highs and lows during his nearly 20-year career, from his success as Louis Stevens on the Disney Channel hit Even Stevens, to playing Sam Witwicky in the first three Transformers movies and the son of Harrison Ford’s iconic explorer in Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Unfortunately, LaBeouf’s off-screen troubles have marred his life on- and off-screen in the past few years, and his only high-profile role in feature films came in 2014 opposite Brad Pitt in the World War II drama Fury.
Now it appears that LaBeouf is looking to literally get back into the swing of things with his next role as one half of professional tennis’ greatest rivalries in Borg/McEnroe; and fans are finally getting their first look at the actor as the sports great. New Trailer Buzz has posted an international teaser trailer for the movie, which features McEnroe (LaBeouf) and Bjorn Borg (Swedish actor Sverrir Gudnason) in the heat of battle on the tennis court. The film also stars Stellan Skarsgård as Lennart Bergelin, the coach who guided Borg to the top.
While the Borg/McEnroe teaser trailer doesn’t divulge much about the story, it certainly encapsulates the intensity between the two tennis greats, as well as McEnroe’s infamous on-court tantrums. The film will reportedly not only chronicle their rivalry – which took place over 22 matches between 1978 and 1981 – it will key in on their legendary match at Wimbledon in 1980.
Despite his off-screen troubles over the past few years, there’s no question that LaBeouf can act, and his casting as McEnroe is an inspired choice. LaBeouf resembles McEnroe, curly locks and all, and surprisingly, the actor and former tennis champ are roughly same height (LaBeouf is 5-foot-9, while McEnroe, despite his lanky appearance back in the day, is 5-foot-11).
And while the film will likely have limited box office appeal (apart from tennis fans, today’s viewers might not even know of McEnroe and Borg), an awards-friendly release date in the U.S. could help the film gain momentum if LaBeouf and Gudnason deliver knock-out performances. At current, the film doesn’t have domestic release date in place, although it’s pegged for a Sept. 15 debut in Sweden.
If Borg/McEnroe lands distribution in the fall, it will be in good company. The true-life tennis drama Battle of the Sexes is scheduled to come out Sept. 22, which stars La La Land Oscar winner Emma Stone as tennis great Billie Jean King, who famously took on former champion Bobby Riggs (Foxcatcher Oscar nominee Steve Carell) in the match dubbed “The Battle of the Sexes” in 1973. Since Stone and Carell will likely be Oscar contenders for Battle of the Sexes, impressive performances by LaBeouf and Gudnason may end up creating a tennis movie rivalry where they’re all vying for golden statuettes.
Source: New Trailer Buzz