Source: Warner Bros Pictures


Challengers from director Luca Guadagnino will open the 80th Venice International Film Festival, which runs August 30-September 9.

The US film, which stars Zendaya, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist, will world premiere out of competition on August 30 in the Sala Grande at the Palazzo del Cinema.

MGM and Amazon Studios are handling US distribution, with Warner Bros Pictures distributing internationally.

The film sees Zendaya play Tashi, a former tennis prodigy turned coach who is married to a champion on a losing streak (Mike Faist). Her strategy for her husband’s redemption takes a surprising turn when he must face off against the washed-up Patrick (Josh O’Connor) his former best friend and Tashi’s former boyfriend.

It is written by Justin Kuritzkes and produced by Amy Pascal, Luca Guadagnino, Zendaya, Rachel O’Connor. 

Guadagnino previously won Venice’s Silver Lion for best director with Bones And All in 2022, and was also up for the Golden Lion with Suspiria (2018) and A Bigger Splash (2015).

Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera said: “Luca Guadagnino is one of the few Italian directors who has always been accustomed to working with both Italian and foreign actresses and actors, getting top results from all of them each time. Even when he is filming abroad as is the case with Challengers.”