Following up last year’s cannibal romance Bones and All, Luca Guadagnino is back this fall with another MGM project. Starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist, Challengers marks the Italian director’s foray into the sports film, a love triangle story set in the tennis world. The film follows a former tennis player who is now coach to her husband and she places him in a Challenger event to curb a recent losing streak, where he faces off against her former lover, who is also his former best friend.
Ahead of a September release, and likely Venice Film Festival debut, the first trailer has now arrived. “I think those three characters in that movie are beautifully complex and really fucked-up people that I love very much. And a sports film, why not? It’s hyperkinetic, and I do films, so it’s great,” the director told Indiewire last year.
Here’s the official synopsis: “From visionary filmmaker Luca Guadagnino, Challengers stars Zendaya as Tashi Duncan, a former tennis prodigy turned coach and a force of nature who makes no apologies for her game on and off the court. Married to a champion on a losing streak (Mike Faist – West Side Story), Tashi’s strategy for her husband’s redemption takes a surprising turn when he must face off against the washed-up Patrick (Josh O’Connor – The Crown) – his former best friend and Tashi’s former boyfriend. As their pasts and presents collide, and tensions run high, Tashi must ask herself, what will it cost to win.”
See the trailer below.
Challengers opens on September 15, 2023.