Everything to know about 'Challengers,' Zendaya's hot new tennis movie

A steamy love triangle dominates 'Challengers,' Zendaya's much-anticipated flick directed by Luca Guadagnino

The actors of Challengers: Zendaya, Mike Faist and Josh O'Connor

In Challengers, Zendaya plays a Grand Slam tennis champion entangled in a love triangle with two of Hollywood's hottest male leads. Where do we sign?!

The sporty, steamy rom-com is the latest film from the great Luca Guadagnino, the director behind one of the best LGTBQ+ movies of all time, Call Me By Your Name, as well as the more recent Bones and All, both of which star Zendaya's Dune co-star and fellow fashion-moment maker Timothée Chalamet.

Zendaya is joined in the Challengers' cast by The Crown star Josh O'Connor and West Side Story multi-talent Mike Faist, so this is clearly one to be excited about. Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming flick.

All about 'Challengers,' Zendaya's sexy tennis movie:

According to the official film synopsis, Challengers is centered on "tennis player turned coach Tashi (Zendaya)" who has taken her husband, Art (Mike 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 (Josh O’Connor)."

Is 'Challengers' based on a true story?

Although Zendaya playing a powerhouse female tennis player and a woman of color in a very male- and white-dominated sport will naturally draw similarities to real-life athletes like Venus and Serena Williams, Challengers is not based on a true story. 

Despite the fact that Zendaya's onscreen tennis player-turned-coach is a fictional one, her skills behind a racket might have you thinking otherwise, as Guadagnino told Variety: ”She’s wonderful...I mean, wow. We edited the movie, and we almost actually don’t use any of her double. She’s so good. … They spent like three months working very hard. Everybody—technically, athletically.” 

Guadagnino expanded on his trio of characters, telling IndieWire: ”I think those three characters in that movie are beautifully complex and really f***ed-up people that I love very much. And a sports film, why not?”

When is the 'Challengers' movie release date?

Mark your calendars: Challengers hits theaters on Friday, September 15, 2023. However, per Variety, rumors are swirling that Guadagnino's title will get a coveted spot at the highly acclaimed Venice Film Festival, which will take place a month earlier in August. 

Where to watch 'Challengers' on streaming?

Streaming information hasn't yet been announced regarding Challengers, but given that the dramedy will be distributed by MGM, which is owned by Amazon, we'd put serious money down that the Zendaya movie will eventually make its way onto Amazon's streaming arm, Prime Video. 

That means you will need a Prime Video subscription to stream Challengers. Current plans are priced at $8.99 per month, though you can also get Prime Video access with a general Amazon Prime account, which costs $14.99 per month or $139 per year.

Watch 'Challengers' trailer:

The chic Zendaya bob is back, baby! Check out the Euphoria star in the Challengers trailer, alongside love interests Josh O'Connor and Mike Faist. 

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. 

More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York

When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.