May 28, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Luca Guadagnino’s New Film Challengers Serves Up a Sexy Tennis Drama

Zendaya Stars in a Love Triangle for the Ages in this Must-See Film

By Dolores Quintana

Academy Award and BAFTA nominated director Luca Guadagnino’s newest film, Challengers, will open this Friday, April 26. It is a sexy mix of top-tier tennis, game playing, and a love triangle for the ages. 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. Tickets are available here. Challengers is a film that is not to be missed whether or not you are a tennis fan. 

Tashi is 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 it will cost to win.

You can watch the latest trailer for the film to whet your appetite:

The film, written by playwright Justin Enkuritz, features a propulsive and danceable score by the Academy Award-winning team of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. It is produced by Amy Pascal, Luca Guadagnino, Zendaya, and Rachel O’Connor.

Guadagnino’s daring and innovative filmmaking and Thai director of photography Sayombhu Mukdeeprom’s fascinating shots make Challengers one of the most exciting films ever made about the game of tennis and the games that make up relationships, on and off the court. 

Zendaya said, “Luca has such a great way of looking at each character in Challengers through such an empathetic lens, seeing them as human. He is so good at pulling nuances and human aspects of a character out so that they’re vulnerable and relatable.”

Guadagnino said, about Zendaya, “Years before shooting this movie, I met Zendaya at an event, and I spent the evening sitting beside her and was fascinated by this young woman who could command the gaze of multitudes and yet be so completely real and graceful. It would be very easy to make Tashi into a one-sided character, simply a woman of strong will, but Zendaya does the opposite — she brings a sense of control and a sense of power while at the same time, she develops a lot of sense of fragility within that strength that Tashi exhibits.”

The film’s worldwide press conference was held at The Maybourne Hotel in Beverly Hills. Challengers will challenge your view of sports films and is sensual feast for the senses.

in NEWS
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