Challengers trailer | Zendaya is caught between Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist in Luca Guadagnino’s next film

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After having conquered first love, witches and cannibalism, Luca Guadagnino turns his attention to tennis and threesomes in Challengers. Here’s the new trailer. 

Name a director with a more varied range of films than Luca Guadagnino. The Italian master of sensuality has directed Timothee Chalamet to an Oscar nomination in Call Me By Your Name, exploded plenty of heads in Suspiria and combined romance and cannibalism in Bones And All. And that’s only his last three films. 

Guadagnino’s next project is Challengers. Starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist, the drama is set in the competitive world of tennis. 

Take a look at the second Challengers trailer.

Any film that uses Nelly Furtado’s ‘Maneater’ in the trailer shoots right to the top of my most anticipated films list. 

Zendaya plays Tashi Duncan, a tennis prodigy who has to give up on her dream after an injury. Tashi finds herself caught in the middle of her husband (Faist) and her ex-boyfriend (O’Connor). Things get steamy. 

Challengers was supposed to open the Venice International Film Festival once upon a time, but the Hollywood strikes pushed it all the way to April 2024. If you have a trio as starry as Zendaya, Faist and O’Connor, you want them all promoting your film. 

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), 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)—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?

There’s been a lot of controversy over the necessity of sex scenes in cinema lately, especially on social media. Many feel that they are unnecessary, exploitative and gratuitous while others find them essential to understanding character. The trailer for Challengers hints at several sex scenes and at least one threesome, so it’s fair to say we know how Guadagnino feels about the subject.

Justin Kuritzkes (that’s Celine Song’s husband!) is in charge of the film’s script, while Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross will provide the film’s score. Kuritzkes and Guadagnino are also teaming up for Guadagnino’s next film, Queer, based on William S. Burroughs’ 1985 novel. 

Daniel Craig will star in Queer which currently doesn’t have a release date, but did finish production in Summer 2023, so hopefully it’ll appear reasonably soon.

Challengers, meanwhile, will slam into cinemas 26th April. 

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