Zendaya’s New Romantic Sports Comedy Film Is R-Rated
Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers, starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist has been rated R in the US by the MPAA for language, sexual content, and graphic nudity. In the film, Zendaya plays the role of a tennis player turned coach of her Grand Slam champion husband. To break a losing streak, she makes him play the lowest-tier Challenger event, where he faces his former best friend and her former boyfriend.
Luca Guadagnino is directing the film from a screenplay by Justin Kuritzkes. The film also stars Scottie DiGiacomo, Faith Fay, Cornel Bradford, Jake Jensen, Keanu Ham, Christine Dye, A.J. Lister, Carlyne Fournier, Joe Curtin, Emelia Camille Harewood, Sid Jarvis, Charles Massey, Sam Xu, Connor Murray, and Cameen M Copeland.
Speaking to Variety at the Academy Museum Gala 2022, director Luca Guadagnino said of Zendaya, “She’s wonderful.” Guadagnino added, “I mean, wow. We edited the movie, and we almost actually don’t use any of her doubles. She’s so good.”
“They spent like three months working very hard,” Guadagnino added. “Everybody—technically, athletically.”
Tashi, a former tennis player turned coach, has transformed her husband from a mediocre player into a world-famous grand slam champion. To jolt him out of his recent losing streak, she makes him play a challenger event — close to the lowest level of the tournament on the pro tour. Tensions soon run high when he finds himself standing across the net from the once-promising, now burnt-out Patrick, his former best friend, and Tashi’s former boyfriend.
Produced by Luca Guadagnino, Rachel O’Connor, Amy Pascal, and Zendaya. Challengers will be released in the United States on September 15, 2023, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
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