'Challengers' Trailer: Zendaya Is a Tennis Pro Caught in a Sexy Love Triangle


Luca Guadagnino is known for unique takes on romantic entanglements—from Call Me By Your Name to Bones & All, the Italian director knows how to build sexual tension with high, complicated stakes in his features. The trailer for his highly-anticipated new film, Challengers, does just that. Billed as a romantic sports comedy, Challengers tells the story of young tennis pro Tashi (Zendaya), who is on the brink of a massively successful career that includes being a global celebrity with a fashion line, philanthropic foundation and “turning everyone in her family into millionaires.”

She meets Art (Mike Faist of West Side Story) and Patrick (The Crown’s Josh O’Connor), who immediately compete for her affections. When a devastating knee injury abruptly ends Tashi’s career, both men want her to be their coach—and lover. As the two men face off in a match later in life, all their past drama comes to a head.

Mike Faist and Zendaya in Challengers

Niko Tavernise / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures

There have been two trailers so far—the first has Rihanna’s “S&M” blaring throughout the clip and Zendaya tossing off lines like, “I’m taking such good care of my little white boys.” The second, released on February 21st, open’s with Z’s Tashi saying, “You think tennis is about expressing yourself, doing your thing. You don’t know what tennis is,” before Patrick and Art compete for her attention and expertise in the sport she loves. “I don’t need to play mind games with you,” Patrick tells Art, before doing just that. Watch below:

Zendaya also shared a brief ‘personal diary’ clip on Instagram, showing her and her castmates learning the ins and outs of tennis and goofing around on set.

The three leads trained for months to get their tennis playing as close to pro as possible; former U.S. tennis pro Brad Gilbert was reportedly a consultant on the film. “She’s wonderful,” Guadagnino told Variety of Zendaya’s tennis skills. “I mean, wow. We edited the movie and we almost actually don’t use any of her double. She’s so good.” He added, “They spent like three months working very hard. Everybody — technically, athletically.”

After several delayed releases due to the Hollywood strikes, Challengers will officially hit theaters April 26, 2024.





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