Zendaya Earns $10 Million for Dual Role in ‘Challengers’

Zendaya has secured a $10 million deal to star in and produce the upcoming film Challengers, set to hit theaters this Friday, April 26. In a recent interview with Variety, the actress described the film as not just a sports movie but a deeper exploration of themes like power and codependency, using tennis as a metaphor. “It’s a movie, and it’s tennis, but it’s not a tennis movie,” Zendaya explained. “Tennis is just a metaphor for a lot of bigger s–t. For power. For codependency. They’re using tennis as their device to get these things out of their system. It’s the only way they know how to communicate.”

In Challengers, directed by Luca Guadagnino, Zendaya portrays Tashi Duncan, a former tennis prodigy entangled in a love triangle with her husband, Art Donaldson (played by Mike Faist), and her ex, Patrick Zweig (Josh O’Connor). The film, which wrapped nearly two years ago, was delayed due to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike but is now making headlines as Zendaya embarks on a global press tour, frequently showcasing her tennis-inspired fashion.

The production, with a budget of $55 million, faces significant box office expectations, with projections suggesting it will gross between $12 and $15 million in its opening weekend. This release will be the only major film debut of the weekend, adding to the anticipation.

Zendaya, known for her role in HBO’s Euphoria, commented on the shift in her career with this film, embracing the challenge of portraying an adult character with experiences far removed from her own life. “I’ve been playing 16-year-olds since I was 16,” she said. “So it was nice to play a character that was not a child anymore. It was also interesting playing parts of my life that I haven’t experienced yet: I’ve not gotten married. I’ve not had a child. Those milestones, I don’t necessarily have a direct reference point for. That was different to feel. Ultimately, it felt like the right time for a character like this.”

Wrapping Up

Stay tuned for more updates and insights into Zendaya’s career and her new film Challengers. Be sure to catch the film in theaters this weekend and see for yourself the depth and intrigue Zendaya promises delivers beyond a mere sports drama.

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