And the award for best Spider-Man girlfriend playing a tennis player goes to Zendaya.  

It’s funny how the expectations of watching a trailer work. In my Most Anticipated Movies of 2024 article at, I wrote:

Luca Guadagnino’s new film is where Zendaya is about to have a threesome with two dudes in the trailer. Her character is a tennis player turned coach who stands between her boyfriend and her ex, who’s her boyfriend’s former best friend. This sports drama promises to be a grand slam. 

Me a few months ago.

What do trailers do?

First, I cringed at what I wrote a few months ago. Second, that trailer did its job. Sell me the movie. And they did with sex. They got everyone’s attention with the potential of Zendaya having a threesome with Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist, which sounds like the sexiest thing Guadagnino filmed since the peach scene in Call Me By Your Name. 

Instead, we got a tennis match centered around a story about love and treason. There’s no explicit sex at all, but enough steamy enough to work as an erotic thriller. There are times when trailers give too much information or mislead the audience into believing that the film is different from what they are. Examples include Fight Club misleading people into thinking it was just about underground fights and Adventureland disappointing people by expecting a full-blown comedy rather than a heartfelt dramedy.

For example, all the MCU trailers after Endgame mislead us into thinking good movies will be released. That’s because trailers are an art form of their own. Or better said, marketing devices. They convince us that we must buy the tickets. They’re three-minute infomercials, and the mediocre movie franchises are the products they’re selling. 

Thus, here’s Challengers.

A career-defining performance from Zendaya in Challengers. Property of Warner Bros and Amazon MGM Studios.

With Challengers, it is a different experience. We ended up watching a cinematic triumph with career-defining performances and thrilling visuals that promise to set a new standard for sports movies. It’s a tale about three people with a love-hate relationship. They are overbearing people who manipulate and cheat each other. They need each other in their lives to succeed, and most of all, they love each other. 

In conclusion, Challengers is a groundbreaking film in both visuals and story. To Luca Guadanino, keep making these unconventional love stories even if the trailer is misleading. 

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