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

Zendaya’s ‘Challengers’ moved to 2024, will miss Venice due to actors’ strike

MGM is pushing Luca Guadagnino Challengers from 2023. The R-rated tennis drama starring Zendaya was set to have a lively premiere at the Venice Film Festival followed by a theatrical release on Sept. 15. It will now be released in theaters on April 26, 2024 and will be released as the opening night feature film in Venice, which will run from August 30 to September 30. 9.

“How are you going to Venice without Zendaya’s support?” detects a source of the release date shift.

In a twin move, Venice announced a new opening replacement Challengerswith director Edoardo De Angelis’ Commander taking place. The move signals stress for fall festivals as they plan a season possibly without SAG-AFTRA actors, who are barred from doing promotional work during the strike.

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In ChallengersZendaya plays former tennis prodigy Tashi Duncan, who is now a coach whose husband (Mike Faist) is on a losing streak. She ends up competing against Patrick (Josh O’Connor), who is her 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.

Challengers is produced by Amy Pascal via her Pascal Pictures banner, as well as Guadagnino and Zendaya. Playwright-singer-songwriter Justin Kuritzkes wrote the screenplay, which landed on the 2021 Black List.

This is the latest of what is sure to be more release date shifts during the strike. On Thursday, Lionsgate announced it was pushing several stocks, including its own Dirty dances Continuation. Zendaya is also among the stars of Dune: second partcurrently scheduled for November 3, which is another title that would be difficult to open without the support of its A-list cast.