Amazon releases French theatrical release of Luca Guadagnino's 'Challengers'

Amazon releases French theatrical release of Luca Guadagnino’s ‘Challengers’

Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers will skip a theatrical run in France and go straight to Prime Video.

Amazonia in a June 19 statement said the tennis-themed film, starring Zendaya, The crown’is Josh O’Connor and West Side History breakout Mike Faist – will launch exclusively in France on Prime Video as it skips a French theatrical release.

The announcement came as Prime Video unveiled nine new original productions for the streaming platform in France, including Silestone’s Amazing Christmas, Sulak AND Tigers and Hyenas, and five new acquisitions, including the second season of Black Hearts.

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The decision to skip a French theatrical release follows the country’s introduction of strict window rules requiring a 17-month period between a film’s theatrical release and its debut on a streaming platform in France. France. This compares to an average window of approximately 45 days between the theatrical release and the SVOD arc in most territories around the world.

In an earlier decision, Disney decided to drop a French theatrical release for Strange world and putting Don Hall’s animated action-adventure straight to its Disney+ streaming platform in the territory, which led to protests from French exhibitors.

Challengers is produced by Amy Pascal and her Pascal Pictures banner, as well as Guadagnino and Zendaya. The screenplay, by playwright-singer-songwriter Justin Kuritzkes, was included in the 2021 Black List, a ranking of the best unproduced screenplay in Hollywood. (A trailer released yesterday.)

According to MGM’s logline, the film centers on “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 shake him off his recent losing streak, she has him play a “Challenger” event – near the bottom tier of the pro tour tournament – where he finds himself standing across the net from up-and-coming, now-exhausted Patrick: her Tashi’s former best friend and ex-boyfriend.

Zendaya plays Tashi. Faist is the husband and O’Connor is the former flame.

The decision to skip a French theatrical release for Challengers was first revealed in Variety.