‘He Had No Knowledge’- Zendaya’s Co-actor From Her New Tennis Movie Makes a Big Claim About the Director

Published 08/04/2023, 10:49 AM EDT

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Euphoria sensation and youth favorite Zendaya’s new tennis movie Challengers is the talk of the town. The trailer for the movie released last month and left viewers amazed.

The story explores the dynamic between a husband and his wife’s lover through the lens of a challenger event.

Co-star dishes details on director’s tennis acumen


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Set for a 2024 release, Luca Guadagnino. the Italian, known for his breathtaking visuals and complex stories, is the director of the movie. Actor Mike Faist, who plays the role of the husband in the movie, spoke to the media during a SAG-AFTRA strike and said,  “He had no knowledge of tennis going into this. And I think he had only a vague interest in certain tennis specificities. He was more interested in the bodies and sweat.

The hallmark of Luca’s film are the emotional complexities he explores through various dynamics and the layer of sensuality in those relationships. His knowledge about the sport of tennis was severely limited, but Zendaya too threw her weight around his style and method of direction. She argued that he was an expert at discovering “sensuality and desire” and building tension in the plot. She said: “What Luca’s really good at is finding sensuality and desire. There’s so much in just glances. The tension builds. Not having the release is a good thing sometimes.”


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Movie release pushed back

According to media reports, the movie was to be premiered at the Venice Film Festival and release on September 15 of this year, but they had to postpone. The decision came after the SAG-AFTRA strike that prevents actors from conducting any promotional events for the movie. The new release date is now April 26, 2024, leaving fans with a gruesomely long wait.

The American actors’ union SAG-AFTRA strike is the biggest actors’ strike in the 1980s, and multiple renowned actors have joined forces. The strike started on the 14th July, 2023, after the actors disputed the labour laws with Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP). Demanding better residual payments for writers and fairer treatment of the members, the SAG-AFTRA strike does not seem to be slowing down.


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With the success of her show Euphoria and fame from the multiple Marvel Spiderman movies with now boyfriend Tom Holland, the push back on release will certainly hurt. The internet expressed their excitement after the trailer launch and the hype generated was great! The Challengers team certainly will have a challenge tackle during the release of the movie next year, barring no hiccups.

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Written by:

Allen James


One take at a time

Allen David James is a writer covering viral sports moments at EssentiallySports. A Mass Communication graduate, specialized in Journalism, his love and passion for the game of cricket has led him to different junctures in life and brought out immense emotion and drive for a mildly calm individual. Apart from cricket, singing and playing badminton are two activities that help him break away from the pressures of work and deadlines! Here he is now, a content writer, creator and broadcaster, trying to make his way in this wonderful world of sports, where tough never rest!
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Edited by:

Priyadarshini Ajay