Trailer for Zendaya’s Challengers has fans clamouring for gay sub-plot

The second trailer for Luca Guadagnino’s steamy sports drama Challengers has dropped, and gay fans are hoping for some extra off-court ball action.

Starring Zendaya, God’s Own Country star Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist, who appeared in the stage adaptation of Brokeback Mountain, the steamy “tennis threesome” film follows Tashi, whose own career was ended by injury, as she coaches husband Art out of his losing streak.

Things take a turn for the dramatic (and sexually charged) when Art (Faist) is drawn to play former best friend Patrick (O’Connor), who also happens to be Tashi’s (Spider-Man star Zendaya) ex-boyfriend.

The new trailer hinted at all the drama one would expect from that concept, including monologues and fast-paced tennis scenes from all three actors.

However, queer fans have also been quick to pick up on some fairly homoerotic subtext trailer – not least the prolonged eye contact between Art and Patrick while the latter munches on a banana, and the naked-as-possible-without-actually-showing-anything sauna scenes – all set to a rendition of Nelly Furtado’s “Maneater”.

There’s also a moment where Tashi sits between Art and Patrick on a bed, and proceeds to kiss both of them. The boys do not share a kiss, but a shot of Zendaya shows her smiling at something off-screen.

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That’s where X has erupted into what are essentially pleas for Challengers to contain a queer sub-plot.

“If I leave that theatre and the boys didn’t kiss…” one X user wrote, while another went for a blunter: “We want the boys to ***** too.”

Another pointed out that given Guadagnino’s track record, which includes queer mainstay Call Me By Your Name and the cannibal-centric Bones and All, “one of them f**king a racquet ball is not entirely impossible.”

A third fan pointed out that: “There’s no sexual tension in films like Luca-Guadagnino-directed sexual tension,” while another social media user issued a warning, writing: “If they don’t have something going, I’m suing for emotional damages.”

Challengers is due to arrive in US cinemas on 26 April.

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