Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist to star in Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers

Zendaya and Tom Holland in Spider-Man Far From Home
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Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist make up the main cast of Challengers – Luca Guadagnino’s romantic drama set in the world of pro tennis. 

Acclaimed director Luca Guadagnino’s next feature will be Challengers, a romantic drama starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and West Side Story's Mike Faist. Variety reports that the film is set in the world of pro tennis, with Zendaya in the lead role of Tashi – a professional player turned coach determined to make her husband, Art (Mike Faist) into a Grand Slam champion. Struggling to meet her expectations, Art is entered into a low-level event where he must compete against his former best friend (and Tashi’s former boyfriend) Patrick.

The romantic drama is being produced by MGM, as well as Spider-Man: No Way Home producer Amy Pascal. American playwright and novelist Justin Kuritzkes is writing the script, which will be his first for a feature film. Of the above castings, only Zendaya is said to be firmly locked-in, with Faist and O’Connor still in talks.

Guadagnino is an acclaimed and versatile director who gained experience with romantic drama through 2017’s Call Me By Your Name starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer. He also helmed the 2018 remake of Dario Argento’s Suspiria. Guadagnino is currently working on a few films, including romance-horror film Bones & All, which will reunite him with Timothée Chalamet. He is also set to direct an Audrey Hepburn biopic starring Nightmare Alley's Rooney Mara. With his varied filmography, if anyone can tackle a tennis-themed romantic drama, it’s him.

Zendaya’s casting will certainly bring some star power to the film, with her currently appearing in the second season of HBO’s popular teen drama Euphoria. She has also impressed on the big screen with roles in blockbusters Spider-Man: No Way Home and Dune. Mike Faist made his feature film debut as Riff in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, while Josh O’Connor played young Prince Charles in Netflix series The Crown. 

We’ll bring you more news on Challengers as we hear it.

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