Zendaya-Starrer 'Challengers' by Luca Guadagnino will open Venice

Zendaya-Starrer ‘Challengers’ by Luca Guadagnino will open Venice

Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers, a ménage à trois tennis drama starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist will open the 80th Venice Film Festival, the festival announced on Thursday. The film will be screened out of competition.

Zendaya plays Tashi Duncan, a former tennis prodigy turned coach and a force of nature, whose husband, a former champion (West Side History star Mike Faist) is on a losing streak. He ends up in a competition against the expired Patrick (Josh O’Connor), his former best friend and Tashi’s ex. As their past and present collide, Tashi is forced to wonder what she’s willing to do to win.

Related stories

Challengers will premiere on August 30, kicking off the 2023 Venice Film Festival. Challengers will be released in the United States through MGM and Amazon Studios and internationally through Warner Bros Pictures. The film was written by Justin Kuritzkes and produced by Amy Pascal, Guadagnino, Zendaya and Rachel O’Connor. The executive producers are Bernard Bellew, Lorenzo Mieli and Kevin Ulrich. Music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

“I am so excited for audiences to experience my new film Challengers at the Venice Film Festival,” Guadagnino said in a statement. “It’s a bold, modern story of youthful energy, love and power. Zendaya, Josh and Mike are totally original and fresh, bringing a new energy like you’ve never seen before. I can’t wait for the Lido audience to dance to the tune of the Trento and Attico soundtrack at the opening night of the 80th edition of the Exhibition. As a director, it’s a dream come true and I’m grateful to Alberto and the entire Venice family for this wonderful award for the film.”

THE Call me by your name the director is a regular in Venice, appearing in competition last year with his cannibal love story Bones and all with Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell and the premiere of films such as I am the love(2009), A bigger splash (2015) e You sigh (2018) at the Lido. Zendaya walked the red carpet in Venice in 2021, together with Chalamet, for the world premiere of Dune: part 1.

“Luca Guadagnino is one of the few Italian directors who has always been used to working with both Italian and foreign actresses and actors, obtaining excellent results every time,” said the artistic director of the Venice Film Festival, Alberto Barbera. “Even when he’s filming abroad, as in the case of Challengers. With a light hand and sporty self-confidence, Guadagnino sets no limits to his creative energy in this film that tackles themes such as love, friendship and male rivalry, and creates a gripping and touching film, full of irony, sensuality and good nature. Cinema in its purest form.”

The 80th Venice Film Festival takes place from August 30 to September 9. Venice will unveil its full 2023 line-up on July 25. La La Land AND Babylon director Damien Chazelle is the president of this year’s international jury which judges the main titles of the competition.