Challengers’ Sexy Hotel Scene Answered An Important Question For The Film


The scene illuminates so much about these three characters and their individual relationships to one other, making clear that this triangle functions best when each component is drawn to the other two, sometimes in ways that are so primal they don’t even know how to verbalize them. Kuritzkes continued:

“The question then became how to make [them all touch] in a way that felt earned and organic and that deepened the dynamics in the story that was already there and already happening between the characters and didn’t shift everything too radically so that we lost the structure of the movie or what happened in the movie, because we felt really good about that. So the question became where to place it, and how to give it the proper runway so that it felt like it was always there, you know? 

That was something that came about through a lot of conversations with me and Luca, and me trying things, and us talking about it. Then finally the thing I arrived on, which was having it happen when they’re juniors in that hotel room, that became something that instantly felt right to all of us, and now it’s one of my favorite scenes in the movie.”

The scene became the centerpiece of the film’s marketing, and given all of the discourse around the “necessity” of sex on screen in the past few years (BTW, we think they’re absolutely necessary), I’m encouraged that Amazon/MGM felt comfortable enough leaning in to this imagery as one of the key selling points. That approach seems to be working, and we’ll see if this terrific movie’s box office receipts help launch Zendaya to even higher heights as one of Hollywood’s most promising young stars.

I spoke about “Challengers” with /Film editor BJ Colangelo on today’s episode of the /Film Daily podcast, which also includes my full interview with Justin Kuritzkes. You can hear the whole conversation below:

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