Sex has made a roaring, vibrant return to mainstream cinema in 2023. From Sanctuary to Infinity Pool to Bottoms, Hollywood is allowing itself to be all shades of horny again. Meanwhile, Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagino has become famous for his boundary-pushing takes on romance, sexuality, and sensuality. His most notable works include the LGBT romance Call Me By Your Name, the psychosexual horror remake Suspiria, and the Timothée Chalamet-led horror-romance Bones and All.
Zendaya embracing sexual roles is hardly anything new. The former Disney Channel star, who also appears in the family-friendly Marvel Spider-Man films, cut her teeth on more risque roles by headlining HBO’s Euphoria. However, her latest role, which pairs her with Guadagino, really has fans talking.
“Challengers” Trailer Teases Zendaya-Centric Threesome
Challengers is billed as a sports romance set for release later in 2023. The film centers around Tashi (Zendaya), a tennis pro who turns to coaching after suffering a that cuts her career short. After a threesome with two other pros, the film is actually set years after that steamy event. Tashi is now married to (and coaching) Art (Mike Faist). Playing in an ATP Challengers event, Art is drawn against Patrick (Josh O’Connor), the third corner of the threesome and Tashi’s former boyfriend. Additionally, the film blends tennis with a classic love triangle and promises to bring Guadagino’s patented style to the proceedings.
The first trailer has a heavy focus on the teenage threesome, which serves a core moment of the film. The height of the trailer’s first act is a tantalizing image of Zendaya smirking mischievously up at the camera while Rihanna’s “S&M” plays in the background. It’s an artfully edited teaser that’s sure to get fans in theatres. “I think those three characters in that movie are beautifully complex and really fucked-up people that I love very much,” Guadagino told IndieWire last year. But the whole idea of Zendaya being not just involved, but actively instigating, a threesome on camera, has got fans going absolutely wild.
— kira 👾 (@kirawontmiss) June 20, 2023
— albert (@albert12798) June 20, 2023
— . (@_harrisonJNR) June 21, 2023
— Aquarius’ Groove (Ricky’s Edition) (@monetsupremacy_) June 21, 2023
Challengers releases on September 15.