As the SAG-AFTRA strike continues, more and more productions are affected as a result. One of the latest films to feel the wrath of the strike is “Challengers,” a new movie starring Zendaya.

“Challengers” And The SAG-AFTRA Strike

The Luca Guadagnino-directed film was originally supposed to debut at the Venice Film Festival on its opening night. Due to promotional complications as a result of the SAG-AFTRA strike, the film has been pulled from the festival and replaced by Italian World War II epic “Comandante.”

The festival announced in a statement that the sports comedy changed its distribution strategy. The strike not only prohibits actors from working on films. It also prohibits SAG-AFTRA union members from doing any type of promotional activity, including walking on red carpets. This, in turn, disrupts the film’s promotion.

“After thoughtful consideration with our partners, and given the parameters that SAG-AFTRA has outlined for its membership, we have made the difficult decision to withdraw ‘Challengers’ from this year’s Venice International Film Festival,” MGM said in a statement Friday. “We look forward to celebrating the film when we can do so with our ensemble cast, director Luca Guadagnino and the filmmaking team at a later date.”

A Sept. 15 U.S. theatrical release date for “Challengers” was previously set for the film. Now, distributor MGM, will instead open the film in theaters April 26, 2024.

In the R-rated “Challengers,” Zendaya plays tennis prodigy Tashi Duncan. Duncan is a rising star who is interrested in two fellow players, who are also best friends. The story follows Duncan as an adult as she sets up a reunion between her, husband and old flame. The two join the tennis tournament, only to realize they’ll be competing against their former rival and best friend.