Release Date, Cast, Story, Trailer & Everything We Know


Quick Links


  • Luca Guadagnino’s upcoming movie Challengers, starring Zendaya, has been delayed due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, pushing its release date to 2024.
  • Despite being in post-production, the movie won’t premiere at the Venice Film Festival as union members cannot actively promote it.
  • Challengers tells the story of Tashi, a former tennis prodigy who now trains her husband to continue her family legacy, highlighting the themes of ambition and dedication. The trailer suggests a provocative plot involving a love triangle and explores heavy themes of lust and greed.



Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers, the upcoming movie starring Zendaya, was originally scheduled for release in 2023. However, despite the delay, the first trailer has arrived along with plenty more Challengers movie news. The sports romance follows a tennis prodigy named Tashi, who had her career cut short by injury and dedicated the rest of her time to coaching her husband to continue her legacy. It’s a powerful story about the importance of carrying on in the face of failure, and not letting your past hold you back from becoming the best you can be. Thanks to the movie’s star-studded cast, fascinating topic matter, and talented crew behind the camera, updates about Challengers have been coming in high demand.

Challengers represents a completely different kind of project for Luca Guadagnino, whose breakthrough movie was 2017’s critically acclaimed queer romance Call Me By Your Name. He followed that with two horror-inspired thrillers, Suspiria and Bones and All, which were just as popular with critics despite a less noticeable impression on general audiences. While the sports romance genre is a totally new direction for the director, the talented cast and intriguing story suggest Challengers will be another success.

Challengers Latest News

MJ working in a diner in Spider-Man No Way Home

The most recent Challengers movie news is that there is going to be a bit more of a wait for the release date of Luca Guadagnino’s and Zendaya’s new film. Initially scheduled for a September 15, 2023 release date, Challengers has been delayed due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. While many movies and shows have been postponed due to the strike, the fact that Challengers was impacted delayed the release date being relatively close demonstrates just how impactful they are.

In July 2023, the Screen Actors Guild authorized a strike for union members, halting productions on almost all Hollywood projects. Independent studios that have agreed to SAG-AFTRA’s requests for pay raises, increased residuals, and more to compensate working actors fairly have been allowed to continue filming new projects. Major studios, however, have not agreed to the terms, and so, many of the projects in preproduction or in the middle of filming were forced to stop.

Though Challengers is in post-production, it is still being affected. Part of the terms of the SAG-AFTRA strike is that union members cannot participate in active promotion of current projects at conventions or film festivals. So, Challengers is now skipping what would have been its launch at the Venice Film Festival because the actors won’t be there to promote it. Instead, Challengers will be pushed back until 2024.

Challengers Release Date

Mike Faist typing on a typewriter in Pinball

Challengers’ official release date is April 26, 2024, though it was originally scheduled for August, then rescheduled for September of 2023. This change likely came as a result of the long filming process, or additional time needed in post-production. Though this new release date means the movie will not premiere at the Venice Film Festival, the delay is in hopes that studio heads and SAG-AFTRA representatives will have included negotiations and actors will be able to help promote the movie in April.

This means a gap of around a year between completion and premiere, as previous Challengers movie news confirmed production wrapped in April 2023, placing the project firmly in the post-production phase (via Variety). This is great news for those looking forward to the movie, as it gives the crew plenty of time before the release to work on aspects such as editing, sound design, and visual corrections to ensure that the final product is as refined as possible. The shoot was a fairly lengthy one, particularly since the lead actors including Zendaya spent several months training their tennis skills and fully immersing themselves into their roles.

Challengers Cast

Josh O'Connor As Prince Charles In The Crown During His Investiture As Prince Of Wales.jpg

Alongside the talent behind the camera, the movie’s biggest selling point is its A-list cast. Challengers’ Tashi is played by Zendaya, who has credits in major blockbusters such as Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Greatest Showman, Malcolm & Marie, and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune adaptation. Tashi’s husband, Art, is played by Mike Faist, who rose to fame in 2021 after portraying Riff in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of West Side Story. Her ex-lover Patrick is played by Josh O’Connor, the Emmy-winning actor behind The Crown’s young Prince Charles. They’re three of the most sought-after talents of their generation right now, and their involvement in Challengers will certainly pique moviegoers’ interests.

Challengers Story Details

Zendaya as Rue in Euphoria S2 sitting at the school auditorium

The story of Challengers focuses on protagonist Tashi Donaldson, whose previous success in the field of tennis is now motivating her to train her husband and continue her family legacy. Despite starting out as a complete amateur, Art Donaldson soon rises to the top and becomes a Grand Slam champion. But his success doesn’t last, and he eventually finds himself on an endless losing streak. It’s at this point that he decides to enter a low-level competition to prove he’s still got it, finding himself face-to-face with his old best friend — and his wife’s ex-lover — across the court.

Challengers’ story is about exactly how far people will go to become the best, and how it’s often attachments from the past that prevent us from actually reaching that true potential. It’s clear from the synopsis alone that there’s actually a surprisingly mature message about ambition and dedication buried within Luca Guadagnino’s narrative, which is completely typical for the auteur filmmaker. Much like his other projects, Challengers blends a simple story with classic tropes of the genre to elevate the real point of what he’s trying to say.

Challengers Trailer Info

Zendaya, Mike Faist, and Josh O'Connor on a bed in Challengers

The Challengers trailer has finally been released, and it gives some more insight into the relationship that Tashi has with Art and Duncan, and it showcases how provocative the movie is too. The trailer is full of surprises, as it’s much about a love triangle as it is about tennis, if not more so. The trailer also suggests that there are heavy themes of lust and greed, and given that it’s directed by Guadagnino, it was never going to be a run-of-the-mill competitive sports movie.

The trailer sets up Tashi as one of the greatest tennis players in the world, as she’s an Adidas brand ambassador and even has her own perfume. The trailer also depicts a passionate night between Tashi, Art, and Patrick, who end up having a ménage à trois. Things get awkward between them, and it unravels into as much of a competition for Tashi as it is about tennis. The clips shown in the trailer already hint that Challengers could be a major awards contender