A new documentary on tennis superstar Boris Becker is nearing completion and is set to be sold at the upcoming Cannes Film Market.
Alex Gibney, Oscar-winning director of “Taxi to the Dark Side” and John Battsek, producer of the Oscar-winning “One Day in September,” have had exclusive access to Becker since 2019 and have been documenting him from then until late April, when he was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for hiding assets and loans to avoid paying his debts.
The as-yet-untitled documentary aims to explore every aspect of the man who became a tennis sensation after winning the Wimbledon Championship at the age of just 17 and went on to win 49 career titles including six Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal. Off court, Becker has had a tumultuous personal life. The film will also speak to major figures in his life, from family members to tennis greats John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.
The project is being financed by Lorton Entertainment, whose include Asif Kapadia’s BAFTA nominated “Diego Maradona” and Matt Smith’s recent Amazon Prime Video documentary “Rooney,” on English football great Wayne Rooney. Lorton will represent the project at Cannes.
Gibney said: “This film about Boris Becker recounts an extraordinary tale. It is both a candid insider’s look at the world of professional tennis and it is also a poignant portrait of the man himself. Like the Rudyard Kipling quote at the entrance to Wimbledon Centre Court, Boris is an individual who appears to ‘meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same.’ ”
Battsek said: “Boris Becker’s story is a remarkable one. Thrust into the global spotlight aged just 17, his unique achievements in tennis both on the court and then as a successful coach to world number one Novak Djokovic merit cinematic treatment. His life off the court trying to manage his private relationships and his spiralling financial commitments have become the stuff of gossip and falsehoods. Boris has been incredibly brave revealing all to us, Alex and I share a big responsibility in making this film.”
Lorton Entertainment founder and CEO Julian Bird added: “We always knew that this film would be right up there with our previous roster of work from ‘Supersonic’ to ‘Maradona’ and the interest in this project has understandably intensified in recent weeks. The wheels are in motion to launch the Boris Becker documentary at a major film festival and full release thereafter.”
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