‘Challengers’ by Luca Guadagnino opening film of the Venice Film Festival

It will have its world premiere on Wednesday 30 August in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema on the Venice Lido

“Challengers”, directed by Luca Guadagnino, with Zendaya, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist, is the opening film, Out of Competition, of the 80th Venice International Film Festival, directed by Alberto Barbera (30 August – 9 September 2023).

“Challengers” will have its world premiere on Wednesday 30 August in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema on the Venice Lido, on the opening night. “Challengers” will be distributed in the United States by Metro Goldwyn Meyer Pictures / Amazon Studios and worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film is written by Justin Kuritzkes and produced by Amy Pascal, Luca Guadagnino, Zendaya and Rachel O’Connor. The executive producers are Bernard Bellew, Lorenzo Mieli and Kevin Ulrich. The music is by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross.

“Luca Guadagnino is one of the few Italian directors who has always been used to working with both Italian and foreign actresses and actors – declared the director Alberto Barbera – managing each time to obtain the maximum result from each of them. Even when he plays away from home, like in the case of Challengers.Without setting limits to his creative energy, Guadagnino here tackles themes such as love, friendship and male rivalry with lightness and sporting bravado, creating an enthralling and exciting show, imbued with irony, sensuality and pleasantness. Pure cinema”.

“I am very excited to present my new film ‘Challengers’ to the audience at the Venice Film Festival – commented Luca Guadagnino – It is a modern and powerful story, suffused with the energy of youth, love and the power of the self. Zendaya, Josh and Mike are completely original and new to bringing an aura to the screen that has never been seen in their performances I can’t wait for the Lido audience to dance to the Trent and Atticus soundtrack on the opening night of the “Eightieth Edition of the Festival. For me as a filmmaker, opening the festival is a dream come true, and I am deeply grateful to Alberto and the entire Venice Biennale family for this award to Challengers”.

From director Luca Guadagnino – already nominated for an Oscar in the best film category with “Call me by your name” – comes “Challengers”, starring Zendaya in the role of Tashi Duncan, a former tennis prodigy turned coach: a force of nature that does not allow errors, both on and off the field. Married to a star player from a losing streak (Mike Faist – West Side Story), Tashi’s strategy for redemption takes a surprising turn when he faces the now dead Patrick (Josh O’Connor – The Crown), his former 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.