Zendaya protagonist of Challengers, the new film by Luca Guadagnino. Story of a love triangle set in the world of tennis
Challengers, the new effort by Luca Guadagnino, is one of those forthcoming films for which one cannot avoid feeling a devouring curiosity. First of all, precisely because it is directed by Guadagnino, the director of acclaimed romantic films such as Call me by your name (2017) e Bones and All, a film, the latter, now in theaters and which, on the occasion of its première at the Venice Film Festival, was greeted with a ten-minute standing ovation. And then because the protagonist of the story is Zendaya, an actress best known for her role in Euphoriawhich earned her two Emmys as best actress in a drama series, but which we were also able to appreciate on the big screen thanks to films such as Dunes (2021) and the three chapters of the Spider-Man saga directed by Jon Watts (Spider-Man: Homecoming2021; Spider-Man: Far from Home2019; Spider-Man: No Way Home2021).
After telling us a touching gay love story with Call me with yours name and gifted a mix of shivers and tears with sentimental horror Bones and AllGuadagnino will take us, with Challengers, in the world of tennis and its competitions. While we wait for the film to hit theaters next year, here’s what we know so far.
Plot, cast and soundtrack
The film tells the story of Tashi Donaldson (Zendaya), a former tennis player turned coach, who deals with her husband’s sports career. After a series of defeats, the latter enters the Challenger, a low-level tournament within the professional circuit, and here he finds himself having to compete against his wife’s ex-boyfriend. At the heart of the film is therefore a sort of sports-love triangle, a subject perfectly in line with Guadagnino’s favorite genre of stories, the one that weaves romanticism and dramatic elements together. In order to play her character well, Zendaya had to undergo three months of training. “We almost never use her stunt doubles,” said Luca Guadagnino. “She is wonderful”.
Next to Zendaya, in Challengers we will see Mike Faist (West Side Story), as Tashi’s husband Art Donaldson, while British actor Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles in seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown) will be Patrick, the protagonist’s ex-boyfriend and childhood friend.
To musically accompany the tennis prowess of our heroes will be the soundtrack of the duo formed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who also composed that of Bones and All. What arouses our interest, however, are above all the costumes, which bear a decidedly prestigious signature: that of the Northern Irish designer Jonathan Anderson.
An exceptional costume designer: Jonathan Anderson
Luca Guadagnino is not new to partnerships with the fashion world. In 2019, for example, he collaborated with the Valentino maison for The Staggering Girl, a medium-length film starring Julianne Moore. In Challengersto go on stage will be the style of Jonathan Anderson, founder of the JW Anderson brand and artistic director of Loewe since 2013. Given the subject of the film, it is clear that sportswear will play a leading role in the costumes , which makes Anderson a particularly appropriate choice, considering his collaborations with Converse and the consistent presence of sporty elements in his collections (see, in this regard, the baseball cap-shaped bags for spring summer 2020 or the knitted sweaters sporty “tank top” motif for men spring summer 2022).
Furthermore, Jonathan Anderson’s passion for cinema is known, as evidenced by his collaborations with the Japanese animation studio Ghibli, from which his reinterpretations of the fantastic imageries of the films originated My Neighbor Totoro And The enchanted city. Not to mention that, with his boundless, playful creativity, Jonathan Anderson is a stylist able to face any challenge. And it is likely that he has picked up with enthusiasm that of dressing the characters of Challengers.
When will we be able to see Challengers?
The output of Challengers is scheduled for 2023. A date has not yet been announced.
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This article was originally published on Vogue France.