The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

Challengers is released after much anticipation

Emma Chrapowicki
Student watches the trailer for Luca Guadagnino’s 2024 film “Challengers”

On April 26, 2024, the sporty romance film Challengers debuted in several theaters nationwide, including a release in IMAX. It was initially expected to be released in the fall of 2023 but was delayed due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. It scored $15 million in box office revenue during its opening weekend–thus becoming director Luca Guadagnino’s most successful release weekend. The film stars Zendaya as tennis star turned coach Tashi, Mike Faist as Tashi’s husband, Art, and Josh O’Connor as Art’s ex-friend and Tashi’s ex-boyfriend, Patrick. 

Challengers is a tale of love and sexuality; whether it be more abstract or actual. The film begins in the 2000s while focusing on athletic best friends Art and Patrick. They meet an entrancing woman–a tennis prospect–after playing in the Junior Open, who is revealed to be named Tashi. Tashi tells them that she will date whoever wins in their next match, and the winner ends up being Patrick–to which Art meets with blatant jealousy. The film then follows the three’s complex relationships over the years. Challengers ultimately put a more complex twist on the common love triangle, with extra complexity, abstractness, and even a sense of codependency.

The film has already racked up critical acclaim, with a TomatoMeter score of 88% and a Metascore of 82%. Despite its budget of $55 million, it is currently on its way to producing a wide profit margin and has nearly made all its money back at the box office globally. It does not currently have a set VOD release date but is projected to be available digitally around the summer.

“[Challengers] was a solid movie, with exceptional performances from its leading cast,” said Julz Nigro ‘26.

Before the film was released, Zendaya became a hot topic for her press tour looks, as styled by Law Roach. She sported several archival Ralph Lauren pieces from the 1990s, to further elevate the preppy atmosphere associated with Challengers. She was also seen with a variety of custom pieces–all at least slightly inspired by the likeliness of tennis clothing–including a Loewe mini dress and heels with tennis balls pierced into them.

“Zendaya is a talented actor and has accomplished many things! Even though I have not seen Challengers, it is great to see her in some of my favorite shows and movies,” Christina Rekatas ‘26 said.

The fashion associated with Challengers became further elevated when the film hit theaters, as well. The costumes were designed by Jonathan Anderson, who featured several pieces from the casualwear brand Uniqlo and luxury brand Loewe. A notable moment in the fashion area was a nod to John F. Kennedy Jr., who was known for his preppy, “old-money” style. The famous “I Told Ya” shirt he wore was remodeled by Loewe and then worn by Zendaya in both the film and its press tour. Though the shirt that was worn by Zendaya was truly a $30 basic from J.Crew with iron-on letters, the Loewe piece retails for $330. 

So far, Challengers has cemented itself as one of the most well-performing films of the year, and has been a remarkable catalyst in building lead actors Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor’s publicity, as well as maintaining Zendaya’s reputation as an “it girl”.

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