The film centers on Tashi Duncan (Zendaya), a tennis prodigy-turned-coach who is married to a champion on a losing streak. Her strategy for her husband’s redemption takes a surprising turn when he must face off against his washed-up, former best friend, who also happens to be Tashi’s former boyfriend. The cast also includes Mike Faist (“West Side Story”) and Josh O’Connor (“The Crown”).

MGM originally planned to open “Challengers” last year but opted to push it to 2024 due to the Screen Actors Guild strike. Now, Zendaya and the rest of the cast can promote it, which will be an asset. Zendaya has pretty much only starred in hits, including “Spider-Man: No Way Home” ($1.9 billion), which ranks as one of the biggest movies in history. Guadagnino, on the other hand, is coming off of 2022’s “Bones and All,” which made just $15 million worldwide. Granted, his latest movie has a sexier angle than “young star-crossed lovers who are also cannibals,” and it’s certain to appeal to a wider audience.

Zendaya hasn’t really had the chance to open an original film as the central star, which is key. Her HBO series “Euphoria” is wildly popular, though, and she starred in Netflix’s “Malcolm & Marie.” So audiences will turn up for her in non-franchise fare. Working in the movie’s favor is solid buzz. It currently carries a stellar 96% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. You can read /Film’s official review of “Challengers” right here.

If nothing else, this movie has a great shot at becoming the highest-grossing tennis movie of all time. That title currently belongs to 2004’s “Wimbledon,” which made $41 million in its day. It starred Kirsten Dunst who was, at the time, playing Mary Jane in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy. Interestingly, Zendaya currently plays MJ in Tom Holland’s “Spider-Man” films, making for an odd parallel.

“Challengers” hits theaters on April 26, 2024.

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