Zendaya’s New Movie “Challengers”: What We Know


Zendaya’s about to turn even more heads, as proven by the release of the trailer for her upcoming movie, Challengers. She’s set to star alongside Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist in the multi-genre, tennis-centered movie. Challengers is in part, a sports film, a romantic comedy, and a drama. Following the trailer’s release, it’s clear that a steamy love triangle is on the way. 

Challengers is already one of the most anticipated movies for the fall season. This is largely because of the leading lady at the center of it all. Challengers will see Zendaya take on the role of Tashi Duncan, a tennis prodigy whose career comes to an abrupt end after a tennis injury. Tashi ends up becoming the coach to her husband, Art. However, tensions rise as he’s set to play his former best friend and her former boyfriend, Patrick, in a Challenger event. 

The Cast Of Challengers

Besides Zendaya, who’s enjoyed great success in recent years, Challengers features Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist. O’Connor stars as Patrick, Tashi’s boyfriend during her teenage years. On the other hand, Faist stars as Art, Tashi’s current husband. Faist is a highly decorated actor. He won a Grammy and was nominated for a Tony Award for his role in the musical Dear Evan Hansen. He’s also an Emmy winner, taking home the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program. He recently garnered significant acclaim for his role in the 2022 movie adaptation of West Side Story

O’Connor is a British actor who won an Emmy Award for his captivating role as a young Charles III in Netflix’s The Crown. His other works include roles in Peaky Blinders, Emma, and God’s Own Country. The latter earned him a British Independent Film Award. 

The Names Behind Challengers 

Perhaps the most famous name behind the scenes of Challengers is Luca Guadagnino. The award-winning Italian director is behind the acclaimed romantic drama Call Me By Your Name. He also served as the director of the romantic horror, Bones and All, which received positive reviews. Playwright and novelist Justin Kuritzkes wrote the script for the movie. Other names involved in the project include Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who will compose the film’s score. The pair also worked with Guadagnino on Bones and All. In addition, Sayombhu Mukdeeprom will serve as the movie’s primary cinematographer. 

Takeaways From The Trailer

Challengers is more than a sports movie and features Zendaya and her co-stars in an important time skip. As shown in the trailer, Tashi and the two men engage in sexual relationships, which eventually play a major part in their respective futures. The movie is Rated R, and if the song used in the trailer is any indication, things might heat up on and off the court. Rihanna’s hit single “S&M” served as the trailer’s official track. 

Fans have already noted the fashion moments in the trailer. This is thanks to Jonathan Anderson, the creative director of Loewe and the costume designer for the movie. Challengers’ trailer has shown Zendaya off in some seriously stunning outfits. The time skip particularly accentuates the character’s style evolution from cute and girly to luxurious and sophisticated. Zendaya also displayed some level of tennis expertise in the Challengers trailer. She spent three months training with Brad Gilbert, a former professional tennis player, and current coach and analyst. 

Filming & Release

Filming for Challengers began in Boston on May 3, 2022, and wrapped up eight weeks later on June 26. The movie is expected to premiere at the 80th Venice Film Festival, after which it will receive a theatrical U.S. release on September 15, 2023. However, French audiences can catch the film exclusively on Prime Video. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer will distribute Challengers, which also serves as the movie’s primary production company. Some fans are holding out hope that the movie will be available to stream on Prime Video after its theatrical run in the U.S., as Amazon owns MGM. 



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