Venice Film Festival to Open with Luca Guadagnino’s Movie ‘Challengers’ Starring Zendaya


The 80th Venice Film Festival will kick off with Luca Guadagnino’s new film “Challengers,” starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist. The movie tells the story of Tashi Duncan, a former tennis prodigy turned coach, and her husband, a former champion, who is struggling in his career. He finds himself competing against his former best friend, Patrick, and Tashi’s ex. As their lives intertwine, Tashi is faced with tough choices to secure victory.

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“Challengers” will premiere on August 30 at the festival, screening out of competition. The film will be released by MGM and Amazon Studios in the United States and Warner Bros Pictures internationally. It was written by Justin Kuritzkes and produced by Amy Pascal, Guadagnino, Zendaya, and Rachel O’Connor. The music is composed by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross.

Luca Guadagnino expressed his excitement about the film’s premiere, describing it as a modern and bold story of youthful energy, love, and power. He praised the originality and freshness brought by Zendaya, Josh, and Mike to their roles. Guadagnino is a regular participant in the Venice Film Festival, and he expressed his gratitude for the recognition and the opportunity to present his film at the prestigious event.

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Venice Film Festival’s artistic director, Alberto Barbera, praised Guadagnino’s talent in collaborating with actors from different backgrounds, achieving outstanding outcomes. He described “Challengers” as a captivating movie that explores themes of love, friendship, and male rivalry with lightness, confidence, and creative energy.

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The 80th Venice Film Festival is scheduled to occur from August 30 to September 9. The complete lineup of films for the festival will be revealed on July 25, with Damien Chazelle, the director of “La La Land” and “Babylon,” serving as the president of the international jury for the main competition.