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"Challengers": all the things you need to know about Zendaya's new film

From the plot to the costumes

Challengers: all the things you need to know about Zendaya's new film From the plot to the costumes

"A tennis love triangle that also has queer overtones" is how Challengers, the highly anticipated film starring Zendaya as a tennis champion, can be summed up in a few words. Behind the camera is Luca Guadagnino, who is currently experiencing a very productive period after the controversial Bones and All, so much so that he has several new projects in the pipeline, including the remake of Scarface, a biopic about Audrey Hepburn. The main focus now, however, is on this new film, which will be released in cinemas on 15 September and, according to rumours, could premiere during the upcoming Venice Film Festival. The closer the release date gets, the more details emerge, such as rumours about the plot, first pictures and a very hot trailer that increases the hype about the film and its protagonists.

While you wait for the film, here's everything you need to know about Challengers.


The plot revolves around a mènage á trois in the world of tennis

Challengers tells the story of Tashi Duncan (Zendaya), a former tennis prodigy turned coach who transforms her husband (Mike Faist) from a mediocre player into a world-class Grand Slam champion. After her husband suffers a series of defeats, Tashi signs him up for a "Challenger" tournament, a lower-level tournament on the professional tour. There, the athlete meets Patrick (Josh O'Connor): his former best friend and Tashi's ex-boyfriend. The trailer reveals that the three were part of a love triangle in their youth.


Josh O'Connor and Mike Faist play the supporting roles

On screen, Zendaya will have two partners Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist. O'Connor, who plays the role of Tashi's ex-boyfriend here, is one of the hottest young upcoming talents of the moment. After his role as Prince Charles in the third and fourth seasons of The Crown, he starred in The Chimaera, an Alice-directed film set in the 1980s in which he is a young British archaeologist who becomes involved in the illegal trade of artefacts. Class of 1992, in Challengers Fast he is the tennis star husband of Zendaya's character, but he is best known as an actor in stage musicals. He has appeared on Broadway in several projects, but became known to the general public for his role as Riff in the Steven Spielberg-directed film West Side Story.


The costumes were made by Jonathan Anderson

In the role of costume designer is Jonathan Anderson, as he announced in an Instagram post last March. This marks the British designer's debut as costume designer for a film, but it is not the first time he has worked with Josh O'Connor, who has been the face of Loewe on several occasions. Anderson will repeat the experience and once again collaborate with his "dear friend" Luca Guadagnino on Queer, a film the director has in the works that will be based on the short novel of the same name by William S. Burroughs. The story is about an American expatriate in Mexico named Lee, who is expected to be played by Daniel Craig.


Zendaya trained with former tennis star Brad Gilbert

Zendaya trained with former tennis player Brad Gilbert for three months to better prepare for the role. "She's wonderful," Guadagnino told Variety. "I mean, wow. We edited the film so we almost did not use any of her doubles. She's so good." All three leads, the director added, "worked very hard for three months, technically and athletically."


The film is already a meme

The first images of Challengers, in which Zendaya takes turns kissing the two leads, have already sparked a series of memes speculating on the possible reaction of Tom Holland, the star's boyfriend, after seeing the love triangle. Are we sure Tom took it badly?