UPDATED 7/21, 4 p.m. ET: If a Zendaya movie premieres at a fancy film fest without Zendaya, did it really happen?
We may never know, because Challengers has been delayed due to the very necessary WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. The latest from Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name, Bones and All ) was scheduled to open the 80th Venice Film Festival.
In addition to canceling its Venice debut, Challengers will no longer premiere this Sept. 15, but rather April 26, 2024.
“How do you go to Venice without Zendaya supporting?” a source said in the Hollywood Reporter.
Deadline noted, “Venice is usually a glamorous springboard for U.S. awards hopefuls and big streamer and studio fare but its plans for American buzz titles have been thrown into disarray by the strike, which forbids SAG members from promoting their projects."
More release date pushbacks and 2023 festival premiere cancellations are bound to happen as the strikes continue.
See original story below.
MGM released the trailer for Challengers starring Emmy/Golden Globe-winner Zendaya and directed by Luca Guadagnino, who helmed 2018’s Best Picture Oscar-nominated Call Me by Your Name and last year’s stellar Bones and All featuring the actress' Dune co-lead Timothée Chalamet.
In Challengers, 26-year-old Zendaya plays a famous tennis player who's involved in a love triangle that continues deep into her career. The trailer teases a seductive snippet of her and co-stars Mike Faist (West Side Story) and Josh O'Connor (Emma) seemingly entering a threesome as the Euphoria star takes turns making out with them. As the scene continues, the tables turn and the two begin kissing her neck.
The official summary for the Justin Kuritzkes-written movie reads, "Tennis player turned coach Tashi (Zendaya) has taken her husband, Art (Faist), and transformed him into a world-famous grand slam champion. To jolt him out of his recent losing streak, she makes him play a 'Challenger' event—close to the lowest level of pro tournament—where he finds himself standing across the net from his former best friend and Tashi's former boyfriend (O'Connor)."
As the trailer gained momentum on Tuesday, social media users went into a frenzy over one cheeky line from Zendaya, who happens to be in a relationship with Tom Holland: "I’m taking such good care of my little white boys."
See a collection of reactions below. Challengers arrives Sept. 15 in theaters.