A new photo of Challengers – which portrays Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist on a tennis court – highlights the strong sensuality of Guadagnino’s latest work. So let’s find out what the interpreters of the film have said about this aspect.
Challengers – last effort of Luca Guadagnino – was one of the first titles to “succumb” to the actors’ union strike. Chosen as the opening title of the 2023 Venice Film Festival, it was then “withdrawn” from Warner Bros.which has decided to postpone the release of the feature film from 15 September to April 2024. To make the wait less heavy for the fans, however, it was in these hours Empire Magazinewho exclusively shared a new image of the project, which portrays two of the three protagonists – Josh O’ Connor e Mike Faist – on a tennis court.
Challengers – The protagonists tell the vision of Luca Guadagnino
Josh O’ Connor e Mike Faist are therefore the protagonists of the new promotional image of Challengerswhich boasts in the cast also the presence of Zendaya. In support of the photo, some were then published statements by the three interpreterswhich highlight that Luca Guadagnino’s real interest was not the sport in question – tennis – but the representation of sensuality and desire through that sport. Mike Faist – face of Art – has in fact revealed:
I think he only had a vague interest in certain specifics of tennis. He was more interested in bodies and sweat.
Words echoed by those of Zendaya e Josh O’Connorwho highlighted what Guadagnino wanted to represent:
ZENDAYA: What Luke [Guadagnino] he is really good is the representation of sensuality and desire. There is so much in a simple exchange of glances (…)JOSH O’CONNOR: Tennis is sex. Those moments are so sexy. The film deals with the tension of before and after. The sex they are all desperate for is in the playing field.
EXCLUSIVE 🎾#Challengers director Luca Guadagnino ‘had no knowledge of tennis’, says star Mike Faist: ‘He was more interested in bodies and sweat,’ he tells Empire.
READ MORE: pic.twitter.com/tIHqcn3Uxd
— Empire Magazine (@empiremagazine) July 31, 2023
As can also be seen from the official synopsis, Challengers in fact, it tells of a passionate love triangle, in which personal ambitions and feelings end up mixing and confusing:
Tashi Duncan is a former tennis prodigy turned coach: a force of nature who admits no mistakes, both on and off the court. Married to a star player on a losing streak, Tashi’s strategy for redemption takes a surprising turn when he faces on the field the now ruined Patrick, her one-time best friend and Tashi’s ex-boyfriend. As their past and present collide and tensions mount, Tashi will have to wonder what the price of victory is.
As mentioned, Warner Bros. has postponed the release of the project to allow Zendaya to participate in the promotional campaign – her presence at the previews is in fact considered essential for the success of the film. For the same reason, the production company has also postponed the release of Dune: Part 2, whose cast always includes Zendaya. So all that remains is to wait for more updates.