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Zendaya’s ‘Challengers’ Movie’s Release Date Just Got A Major Delay

Zendaya can do no wrong, so naturally, when the trailer for her new movie Challengers dropped on June 20, fans went crazy over the glimpse into the upcoming movie. As she breaks away from her Disney Channel past into more mature roles, such as her role as Rue in Euphoria, Zendaya is broadening her name as a talented, versatile actress. The trailer for Challengers showcases her in a sporty role as a tennis star, but fans seemed to be more focused on the steamy love triangle her character gets caught up in. From the plot to Zendaya’s training for the role, here is everything we know about her upcoming movie. 

What is Zendaya’s Challengers movie about? 

Zendaya is playing the role of Tashi, a talented tennis star who is just getting started. While at the peak of her career, she meets fellow tennis best friends Art, played by Mike Faist, and Patrick, played by Josh O’Connor. She finds herself in a steamy romance with the two of them. 

Though a love triangle might commence in Tashi’s younger years, the plot takes on a more complicated story. It seems that Tashi ends up with Art, but the two are reunited with Patrick later in their career. That is when competition ensues as Tashi’s two past and present lovers enter the same tennis tournament. The film’s logline describes the movie as centering around “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.” I didn’t know I needed an intense sports romance comedy until now. 

Is there a trailer for Challengers?

The trailer for the sports rom-com dropped on June 20. In the first look at the upcoming movie, fans got a sneak peek of Zendaya taking on a role as a tennis star, where she is slaying per usual. It also gave a glimpse into the steamy love triangle that her character Tashi finds herself in, which left fans a little unwell after viewing the short clip. I’ll let you see for yourself why fans are going crazy over this trailer. 

Did Zendaya have to train for the movie? 

Though Zendaya might seem natural at everything she does, she did have to train for her new role as a tennis star. In an interview with Variety, Challengers director Luca Guadagnino revealed Zendaya trained for three months for the movie with pro tennis coach and former player Brad Gilbert. Gilbert is also a consultant for the movie, making sure it’s up to standard with the ins and outs of the art of tennis. 

When will Challengers premiere and where can I watch it? 

The film was set to release in theaters on Sept. 15, 2023, but I’ve got some sad news for Zendaya fans: The release date has now been pushed to 2024, due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. The official new release date is a bit up in the air, with different reports claiming dates in April and during the 2024 summer. The film was also withdrawn from the Venice International Film Festival, because an Aug. 30 red carpet with all the stars seems unlikely at this point with the strike still ongoing.

According to an MGM/Amazon Studios spokesperson’s statement to Vanity Fair,“After thoughtful consideration with our partners, and given the parameters that SAG-AFTRA has outlined for its membership, we have made the difficult decision to withdraw Challengers from this year’s Venice International Film Festival. We look forward to celebrating the film when we can do so with our ensemble cast, director Luca Guadagnino, and the filmmaking team at a later date.”

As of right now, the film will be shown exclusively in theaters and there has been no date released for when it will be available to stream. However, MGM is the distributor for the film, which is owned by Amazon, so it’s likely the film will stream on Prime Video following its time in theaters. In the meantime, I’ll be patiently waiting to see my girl Zendaya on the big screen.

Hannah Tolley is a contributing writer under the Entertainment and Culture vertical. She covers entertainment releases, fan theories, pop culture news, and more. Aside from Her Campus, Hannah was also a member of the Florida State University (FSU) Her Campus team. During her time with the chapter, she served as a staff writer for three semesters, where she wrote biweekly pieces across campus, culture, and personal verticals. She also was a content editor for two semesters, where she led a team of 6+ writers and oversaw and edited their articles. Hannah was also an editorial intern for Her Campus during her spring and summer term of her second year in college. As an intern, she worked alongside the full-time edit team to curate timely and evergreen pieces across life, culture, career, and style verticals. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from FSU in May 2023, with a Bachelor of Science in Media/Communication Studies with a minor in English. When she's not dissecting the latest pop culture events, you can find her reading a cheesy romance novel or establishing parasocial relationships with fictional TV characters. She loves to rewatch her favorite shows (Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, and Friends) or spend the day going down a rabbit hole of reality dating shows.