‘Challengers’ Movie: New Trailer, Release Date, and More Updates – Hollywood Life

‘Challengers’: The Steamy New Trailer, Release Date & Everything Else to Know About Zendaya’s Movie

Game, set, kiss! 'Challengers' is one of the most highly-anticipated movies of 2024, and a new trailer has been released that will get us all hot and bothered.

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Zendaya is officially taking over cinemas — in 2024! Just after Dune: Part Two, she’ll be coming out swinging with Challengers, a new dramedy set in the world of tennis. While the wait for Challengers has been a bit longer than we originally thought, the latest trailer promises that the movie will be worth the wait.

Zendaya has two very handsome and talented co-stars in Challengers. Get ready for one steamy love triangle! From the cast to the new release date to what the movie is all about, HollywoodLife has rounded up all the latest updates about the Challengers movie.

Zendaya as Tashi in ‘Challengers.’ (Metro Goldwyn Mayer)

‘Challengers’ Release Date

Challengers will now be hitting theaters on April 26, 2024. That’s quite the push from the previous September 15, 2023, release date. The movie’s original release date was August 11, 2023, but it was later moved to the September date.

Challengers was set to premiere at the 2023 Venice Film Festival. The film has pulled out of the opening night feature at the Venice Film Festival, which is held from August 30 to September 9, due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The strike prevents stars like Zendaya from promoting the film.

Zendaya and Josh O’Connor in ‘Challengers.’ (Amazon MGM Studios)

The film will be released exclusively in theaters. A streaming release date has not been revealed yet. Challengers is rated R for language throughout, some sexual content, and graphic nudity.

‘Challengers’ Trailer

The first trailer for Challengers dropped on June 20, 2023. The footage — set to Rihanna’s “S&M” — gives a glimpse of Tashi, Art, and Patrick’s lives in both the past and present day. The trailer chronicles Tashi and Art’s journey to facing off against Patrick, Tashi’s former lover, on the tennis court.

The love triangle heats between Art, Tashi, and Patrick. During their younger years, there’s a moment when Tashi is enjoying both Art and Patrick kissing her.

The second trailer dropped on February 21, 2024. This time around, the trailer was set to Nelly Furtado’s “Maneater.” The latest footage centers around the complicated love triangle between Art, Tashi, and Patrick. Both Art and Patrick want Tashi to be their coach, and the competition between them only intensifies from there. “This is a game about winning the points that matter,” Art says.

‘Challengers’ Cast

Mike Faist, Zendaya, and Josh O’Connor in ‘Challengers.’ (Metro Goldwyn Mayer)

Challengers features a talented trio of actors: Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist. Zendaya stars as Tashi Duncan, a tennis phenom turned coach. Zendaya has become a 2-time Emmy winner for her role as Rue in HBO’s Euphoria. In addition to Challengers, Zendaya also reprises her role as Chani in Dune: Part Two.

Mike plays Art Duncan, Tashi’s husband. Tasha has become Art’s coach after an injury sidelined her. Mike is best known for his role as Riff in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake. He also originated the role of Connor Murphy in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway.

Josh stars as Patrick, Tashi’s ex-boyfriend and Art’s former best friend. The Emmy winner rose to fame playing Prince Charles in seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown.

The film was directed and produced by Luca Guadagnino. The Oscar nominee is known for directing films like Call Me By Your Name, Suspiria, and Bones and All.

Luca Guadagnino
Luca Guadagnino on the ‘Challengers’ set. (Metro Goldwyn Mayer)

“She’s wonderful,” Luca said about Zendaya in an interview with Variety. “I mean, wow. We edited the movie and we almost actually don’t use any of her double. She’s so good.” The director also noted that his leads “spent like three months working very hard. Everybody – technically, athletically.” The movie was primarily filmed in Boston.

Despite her training, Zendaya admitted in her ELLE September 2023 cover story that she was “terrified” of having to “pretend to do tennis in front of a camera with an audience. She added, “And I was not even using a real ball… I’m just doing the form and footwork and getting my swing right and doing it in front of a whole bunch of people as if it’s the US Open, and I’m terrified.”

Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya’s Dune: Part Two co-star, saw an early cut of the film in 2022. “Loved it,” the actor told Variety about his reaction to the film. Timothée previously worked with Luca on Call Me By Your Name and Bones and All.

What Will ‘Challengers’ Be About?

The official synopsis from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for Challengers reads: “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, Tashi’s strategy for her husband’s redemption takes a surprising turn when he must face off against the washed-up Patrick – 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.”

Zendaya also opened up to ELLE about how the role of Tashi is different from any character she’s ever played before. “I felt like it was a good step into a more, I guess you could say, ‘grown-up’ role and into that next phase,” Zendaya said in an interview conducted prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike. “It was a little bit scary to take on, which I think is a good feeling. To be like, ‘Ooh, can I do this?’ You could run from that feeling and stay safe and comfortable, or you can go, ‘You know what, f**k it.'”

Tashi is a complicated woman, and Zendaya had to dive deep into the character’s roots to get a sense of who she was playing. “I still don’t understand the decisions she makes, and we had so many conversations about the psychology of her and why she is that way,” the actress continued. “What was important to me was that she was unapologetic about it. Sometimes characters who are messy and conflicted and wield power over other people are reserved for [actors] who don’t look like me, so when I get an opportunity to play a character like that, I’ma take it!”

For Josh O’Connor’s VMAN profile, Zendaya told the actor that he’s nothing like his character.  “Our characters are horrific,” Josh told Zendaya. “We are all the puppet masters at different moments.” Zendaya added that “there’s a villain-esque quality there to all of the characters.”

The film’s director previously revealed to IndieWire that Challengers is a “completely different film” from his last project Bones and All. He called Challengers a “fairly fizzy, sexy movie about the world of tennis.”

Zendaya at CinemaCon in April 2023. (Rob Latour/Shutterstock)

He also noted, “I think those three characters in that movie are beautifully complex and really f***ed-up people that I love very much. And a sports film, why not? It’s hyperkinetic, and I do films, so it’s great.”