Here’s your first look at Shia LaBeouf playing John McEnroe

"You can not be serious!" etc etc.

Shia LaBeouf to play John McEnroe
LaBeouf watching himself on screen. Was the actor's wedding a stunt?

John McEnroe was an exceptional, one-of-a-kind sportsman, so to get someone to play him in a movie, you need to find an actor who’s equally one-off.

Step forward bag-on-head-wearing-experimental-artiste Shia LaBeouf, who’s gotten himself a fetching 80s perm to play the tennis legend for the film Borg/McEnroe.

The sports flick centres on McEnroe and Bjorn Borg’s titanic 1980 Wimbledon final match, a volatile meeting of fire and ice that saw – spoiler alert! – Borg defeat McEnroe 1–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–7(16–18), 8–6 to win the match.

Tennis pundits regard it as the greatest match ever played, so expect Borg/McEnroe to be an on-screen showdown as intense as Batman v Superman.

LaBeouf’s curly hair will bring back memories of his breakthrough role in Disney sitcom Even Stevens, in which the mischievous Louis, forever bickering with sister Renee.

However, Borg/McEnroe will probably contain a lot more swearing, smashed tennis rackets and LaBeouf channeling the inner rage he displayed when yelling “just do it” over and over again like some kind of maniac.

The film, co-starring Sverrir Gudnason as Borg, is due to open in cinemas in 2017.

Watch Wimbledon highlights of John McEnroe vs Bjorn Borg below:

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn