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All We Know About Zendaya’s Next Sports Drama, ‘Challengers’

If you’ve found yourself captivated by *that* steamy clip circulating on social media from Zendaya’s highly-anticipated film, Challengers, and shedding a sympathetic tear for Tom Holland along with the rest of the internet, then you’re undoubtedly dying to know more about this cinematic gem. Get ready to step into the thrilling world of tennis and tangled relationships in this upcoming sports drama.

Directed by Luca Guadagnino, known for his work on Call Me By Your Name, this movie promises to deliver an intriguing story of teenage love that spans into adulthood. With a talented cast, intense competition, and complex emotions, Challengers is set to be a must-watch movie event. Let’s dive into all the exciting details surrounding this upcoming release.

The Plot

Challengers follows the journey of Tashi (Zendaya), a former tennis star-turned-coach. Determined to transform her husband, Art (Mike Faist), into a Grand Slam champion, Tashi faces a significant challenge when she enters him into a high-stakes ‘Challenger’ tournament. To complicate matters further, Art’s opponent happens to be Patrick (Josh O’Connor), Tashi’s former flame and Art’s former best friend. As the past resurfaces, their love triangle intertwines with the fierce competition on the court, creating a web of emotions and complexities.

The Cast

Zendaya takes on the role of Tashi, showcasing her versatility as an actress and also serving as a producer for the film. Mike Faist portrays Art, Tashi’s husband and a tennis champion, while Josh O’Connor embodies Patrick, Tashi’s former teenage boyfriend and fellow tennis pro. The talented ‘threesome’ brings depth and intensity to their characters, adding layers of intrigue to the story.

Training for the Film

To portray their roles convincingly, the cast dedicated three months of rigorous training. Under the guidance of former tennis professional Brad Gilbert, they honed their athletic skills and immersed themselves in the technical aspects of the sport. Going by the trailer, this commitment ensured authenticity and added a realistic touch to the tennis sequences in the film.

The Visionary Team

Challengers boasts an exceptional crew, led by director Luca Guadagnino, renowned for his many critically-acclaimed works. Collaborating once again with Guadagnino, the award-winning composer duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross create a mesmerising score, complementing the film’s atmosphere. Additionally, cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, known for his work on Suspiria and Call Me By Your Name, captures the essence of the story with his remarkable visuals.

Filming and Release

Production for the movie commenced on May 3, 2022, predominantly in Boston. By June 26, filming had concluded, and the post-production process began. Fans eagerly anticipate the film’s release, scheduled for September 15, 2023, in the United States. However, French audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy the film exclusively on Prime Video, foregoing a theatrical release.

What We are Looking Forward to

In a whirlwind of under 150 seconds of the YouTube-shattering trailer, the audience is treated to heart-pounding tennis showdowns, career-altering sports injuries that make you wince, a sizzling throuple makeout session, a flood of stylish Uniqlo polo shirts, and our leading lady rocking more fabulous hairstyles than you can count! What excites us even more is Zendaya’s chic brown-blonde chin-length bob, which not only sets a hair trend but also signifies her character’s personal growth and style evolution.

The time jump in the film allows us to witness her transition from a teenage tennis prodigy with long, brown cascading tresses to a sophisticated adult sporting an impossibly chic centre-parted bob illuminated by a fresh set of golden-toned highlights (hair trend alert?!)

Alongside her hair transformation, we see a shift in her fashion choices too—she goes from wearing playful, high-school prom-esque dresses and the T-shirt-sweatpants combo, to embracing a ‘quiet luxury/rich coastal grandma’ aesthetic with impeccable accessories and refined ensembles.

Zendaya’s sophisticated bob and dynamic style promise to influence audiences and inspire hair and fashion trends. One thing you can bet your popcorn on, though, is her skyrocketing movie-star career. Just take a peek at the trailer and you’ll see she’s on a wild, Oscar-hunting spree!