Luca Guadagnino Lands Zendaya, Mike Faist, And Josh O'Connor To Lead Challengers

"Call Me By Your Name" and "Suspiria" auteur Luca Guadagnino is shaping up to have a mighty prolific future. His formerly-newest-feature "Bones & All" was just announced mere weeks ago, co-starring "Call Me By Your Name" star Timothee Chalamet and Taylor Russell ("Waves") in a cannibal horror-romance. With that film now in post-production, the filmmaker already has a new iron in the rhetorical fire with exciting leads to boot. It was announced today that MGM has picked up "Challengers," a tennis-themed romantic drama written by playwright Justin Kuritzkes.

"Euphoria" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home" star Zendaya is already attached to star in, and co-produce, the project, with "West Side Story" scene-stealer Mike Faist and Emmy-winner Josh O'Connor finalizing talks to co-star. The film will be produced by "Spider-Man: No Way Home" co-producer Amy Pascal and her Pascal Pictures, who will co-produce the feature alongside Zendaya and Guadagnino. It's an exciting story with an extremely buzzy cast, and certainly one to watch out for. Details inside.

A Tense Tennis Love Triangle

The film will see Zendaya, Faist, and O'Connor locked in a tense love triangle. It follows tennis player-turned-coach Tashi (Zendaya), the talented wife of tennis player Art (Faist) who has gradually turned into a Grand Slam champ via Tashi's efforts. Following a losing streak, Art enters a low-level "Challenger" event at Tashi's bidding and finds himself competing against Patrick (O'Connor). The burnt-out ex-phenom Patrick has history with the pair as Art's former best friend and Tashi's ex-boyfriend, and the new challenge heats up old rivalries.

Kuritzkes' sought-after script was featured on the 2021 Black List, ranking the most highly regarded unproduced script in Hollywood. Zendaya is reportedly set for a $10 million payday as both star and co-producer, following a year that easily cemented her A-list status. After the solidification of Faist and O'Connor's contracts, "Challengers" is set for a springtime production start on the East Coast.