In a move that’ll hopefully go down in the storied history of on-the-nose biopic casting, artist, non-famous person, and Holes star Shia LaBeouf has signed on to play a man known for his spectacular, authority-challenging fits of anger. Specficially, LaBeouf is playing tennis-’n’-tantrums legend John McEnroe, in an upcoming film about McEnroe’s long-time rivalry with Swedish player Bjorn Borg.
Directed by Janus Metz, Borg/McEnroe will co-star Swedish actor Sverrir Gudnason as Borg, who the press portrayed as the cool, collected ice to McEnroe’s hot-tempered fire. Stellan Skarsgard co-stars as Borg’s coach, Lennart Bergelin, because having a movie about Swedish people without Stellan Skarsgard would be like having a human face without a paper bag hiding it from view.
Borg and McEnroe played each other 14 times over the years between 1978 and 1981, when McEnroe put their feud to bed with a decisive win at the US Open. McEnroe drew criticism, fines, and even a few outright suspensions for his on-court outbursts over the course of his career, sometimes slamming down rackets and verbally challenging officials. Presumably, LaBeouf will have to look deep inside himself to find the supplies of self-entitlement necessary to capture McEnroe’s sometimes petulant rage.