Zendaya explained how director Luga Guadagnino pictured sensuality in her upcoming tennis movie Challengers, and it's not the way most of us would expect. "What Luca's really good at is finding sensuality and desire. There's so much in just glances.
The tension builds. Not having the release is a good thing sometimes," she told Empire in an interview that took place before the SAG-AFTRA strike. Zendaya's co-star Mike Faist confirmed Guadagnino's focus on sensuality rather than tennis.
"He had no knowledge of tennis going into this. And I think he had only a vague interest in certain tennis specificities. He was more interested in the bodies and sweat," Faist told Empire.
When will Zendaya's Challengers launch
The takeoff of Zendaya's new tennis film "Challengers" was delayed from September 2023 until April 26, 2024, because the movie couldn't be promoted the way it was planned as a result of the SAG-AFTRA strike.
"This means Zendaya, O’Connor and Faist would not have been able to launch the film on Aug. 30 on the Venice red carpet," Variety noted as quoted in one of our recent articles. Per IMDB (spoiler alert), Challengers "follows three players who knew each other when they were teenagers as they compete in a tennis tournament to be the world-famous grand slam winner, and reignite old rivalries on and off the court.
The story follows Tashi, a tennis player-turned-coach who has taken her husband, Art, and transformed him 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 tournament on the pro tour -- where he finds himself standing across the net from the once-promising, now burnt-out Patrick: his former best friend and Tashi's former boyfriend."