Despite only being announced in February, Zendaya’s upcoming project Challengers is one of the most highly anticipated films of 2022.
With a stalwart ensemble cast, including bona fide fashionista and The Crown newcomer Josh O’Connor along with Broadway darling Mike Faist, this tale of an unlikely love triangle set on-and-off the tennis court is one you won’t want to miss.
With Call Me By Your Name and Suspiria director Luca Guadagnino set to helm the project, we’re expecting nothing but aesthetic visuals, pristine cinematography and a dope soundtrack.
As for the wardrobe, Challengers has all bases covered by tapping iconic Irish designer Jonathan Anderson as the film’s costume designer.
Given Anderson’s industry-lauded creations, impressive list of awards and campy-couture designs for Spanish luxury house Loewe and eponymous label JW Anderson, we know that the costumes are going to be nothing short of extraordinary.
If Challengers has piqued your interest, keep reading below for everything we know about the films cast, plot and release date.
What Is The Plot Of ‘Challengers’?
As per Variety, Challengers is a romance-drama focused on the “competitive world of pro tennis”.
Zendaya will lead the cast as protagonist Tashi, a player-turned-coach who works with her husband, a fellow tennis player named Art, to become a grand slam champion.
Art, who’s portrayed by Mike Faist, starts the film on a losing streak, forcing him to be entered into a “challenger” event, which is the lowest pro-tournament level competition.
As a result, Art is forced to face off against his former best friend and, wait for it, Tashi’s former boyfriend Patrick.
It’s a complicated love triangle, with drama both on and off the court. And it only gets more interesting with multiple reports claiming the film will have “queer undertones”—we’re here for this.
Given Luca Guadagnino’s familiarity with homoerotic material—his award-winning Call Me By Your Name was a cultural masterpiece—we’re sure that all the complexities of lust, betrayal and ambition will be explored with refined nuance.
Who Will Star In ‘Challengers’?
Zendaya will lead the cast as the former champion turned coach Tashi.
While little is known about Zendaya’s tennis abilities, considering she literally has the midas touch (with everything she works on turning to gold) we’ve no doubt the likes of Venus and Serena Williams will be impressed by her performance.
Mike Faist will appear as Tashi’s husband Art, with Josh O’Connor rounding out the cast as Patrick.
With his time at The Crown over, Dominic West will pick up the mantle of Prince Charles, Josh will appear in another queer romance, The History Of Sound, alongside our collective internet boyfriend Paul Mescal.
DIRECTOR, COSTUMING AND MORE
Luca Guadagnino will be directing Challengers. If you can’t wait until then to get your Luca fix, his upcoming slate includes a romance-thriller Bones & All, featuring heartthrob Timothée Chalamet, and the upcoming Audrey Hepburn biopic with Rooney Mara.
As mentioned, Creative Director and fashion designer Jonathan Anderson is also attached to the project. Jonathan Anderson has been the Creative Director of cult fashion label Loewe, known for it’s artisanal craftsmanship and avant-garde approach to dressing, since 2013.
Jonathan also runs his own eponymous label JW Anderson. With a celebrity following, including both Zendaya and Josh O’Connor, we can only hope the costumes will be available for purchase.
Jonathan took to social media to share news of his involvement in the project. “Very excited to be working with my dear friend Luca Guadagnino on costumes for his new film “Challengers” such a dream”, the designer captioned his post.
The film will be produced by Amy Pascal, who is also producing the upcoming Barbie, with playwright Justin Kuritzkes writing the screenplay.
Where Is ‘Challengers’ Being Filmed?
Challengers has already started production, with shooting underway in Boston. Eagle-eyed fans have already spotted Zendaya around town, so here’s hoping we may be getting some first look images soon.
When Will ‘Challengers’ Be Released?
Challengers does not have a release date yet, however given that Euphoria Season 2 is over, we’re hoping that the film will be released soon so we can get Zendaya back on our screens.
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