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Queerty: WATCH: The ‘Call Me By Your Name’ director’s next film is a sexy sports drama ménage à trois


Josh O'Connor wears a towel and is nude in a saunaImage Credit: ‘Challengers,’ Warner Bros.

Tennis is a sport best played one-on-one—”singles”—or between two teams of two—”doubles”—so, naturally, things get a little messy when three hit the courts.

But who says a little three-way mess is a bad thing? It can be fun, it can be thrilling, and it can be very, very sexy, especially in the upcoming film Challengers, a steamy love triangle romance set in the world of professional tennis.

From director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name, the upcoming Queer with Daniel Craig) comes a movie that aims to be one of the hottest hits of the fall featuring mega-star Zendaya, The Crown‘s Josh O’Connor, and West Side Story‘s Mike Faist.

O’Connor stars as Patrick with Faist as Art, two young tennis players whose friendship is served in the ace in the form of rising women’s tennis star, Tashi, played by the radiant Zendaya.

Without giving too much away, the first Challengers trailer sure seems to imply that, after being invited to their hotel room, Tashi beds both guys at once—could we have another Y Tu Mamá También on our hands?

Zendaya, Josh O'Connor, and Mike Faist make out on a bedImage Credit: ‘Challengers,’ Warner Bros.

From there, it looks like Tashi and Patrick begin a relationship, leaving Art in the cold. But, after an incident on the court leaves Tashi out of the sport for good, we jump to years later when she’s now married to Art—and his coach.

Now, Tashi is training Art to compete in a Grand Slam tournament that will see him going head-to-head with her old lover and his former best friend, Patrick. In the words of Marie Kondo: “I love mess!”

Since it was announced, Challengers has been described as a “queer romance,” so we’ve been eager to see just how gay it really is. Does the queerness run deeper than the implied three-way? The jury’s still out, but it certainly doesn’t hurt that all three hot, young stars have played notable queer roles in the past: Zendaya in Euphoria, O’Connor in God’s Own Country, and Faist in the stage version of Brokeback Mountain, currently playing in London.


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Whatever the outcome, filmmaker Guadagnino hasn’t really steered us wrong yet, and we’re excited to see he’s working with a script from author-playwright Justin Kuritzkes, who also adapted William S. Burroughs’ 1985 novel Queer for the director’s next project.

Check out the sexy trailer for Challengers below, which hits theaters everywhere September 15:


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