Challengers (2024): Where Was the Movie Filmed?

In the directorial hands of Luca Guadagnino, ‘Challengers’ presents an emotionally charged and action-packed sports drama that revolves around a love triangle. Tashi used to be a promising tennis prodigy who was benched after a serious injury sustained during a game. Having only one skill to fall back on, she takes to coaching, becoming the supporting force behind the success of her professional tennis-playing husband, Art. However, when he begins to doubt himself, Tashi enters Art into a tournament where he will face his former best friend and Tashi’s ex-boyfriend, Patrick Zweig.

In their younger days, Tashi had come between the two friends, creating a love triangle that ultimately resulted in Patrick losing out. Old rivalries and tensions are reignited as Art and Patrick face off, with Tashi just as involved despite being on the sidelines. The narrative increases the tension between the characters as it switches between tantalizing memories of the past and the uncertain excitement of the present as they come together once again. The movie transports us between tennis venues, coastal locales, and forlorn city streets, inspiring further investigation into its filming destinations.

Challengers Filming Locations

‘Challengers’ was primarily filmed across several locations in Massachusetts, with some scenes lensed in New York. Cameras began rolling on the production in May 2022, and filming was wrapped up by June of the same year. Additional shooting is reported to have taken place in November 2022. The film’s cast and crew seem to have enjoyed the process of bringing ‘Challengers’ to life, with lead actress Zendaya taking up three months of tennis coaching prior to filming.

Boston, Massachusetts

‘Challengers’ was largely filmed in Boston as locations around the city stood in for New York City, where much of the film is set. Situated along the picturesque shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Boston stands as a bustling metropolis and a hub of culture, education, and commerce. With a coastal position, eclectic neighborhoods, and the Charles River passing through it, the city can effortlessly stand in for many other major cityscapes around the country. Its surrounding towns give access to quieter locales for many of the movie’s scenes.

Image Credit: MGM/YouTube

In particular, the film crew was spotted shooting in East Boston and the Back Bay. Situated across Boston Harbor from downtown Boston, East Boston offers stunning waterfront views and a vibrant urban atmosphere. The Back Bay neighborhood is a commercial destination recognized for its elegant Victorian brownstones, upscale boutiques, and restaurants. While commerce is concentrated in Newbury Street and Boylston Street, filmmakers can capture the picturesque backdrops of the Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, and the rows of brownstone homes along Commonwealth Avenue.

The team also taped scenes involving Tashi and Patrick in an alley in the city’s Financial District. The area is known for its impressive skyline and towering skyscrapers such as the John Hancock Tower, One Boston Place, and the Prudential Tower. The Financial District borders Boston Harbor, allowing filmmakers to capture scenic waterfront views and nautical activity.

When asked about their time filming in Boston, stars Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor said that spending time exploring the city together helped inform their on-screen play and chemistry. “We went out to Boston, we had six weeks of training and rehearsal,” said Faist at a press conference. “Josh and I would spend any other time that we had running lines around Boston. We’d go to the park. We would walk around the city, and we would run the lines.” They spent so much time together rehearsing in such an interesting manner that after a point, they knew all of each other’s lines.

Other Locations in Massachusetts

Traveling to a number of smaller towns and cities around Massachusetts, the film crew captured many of the quaint and distinctive backgrounds seen in the film. These include sites across Framingham and Bedford in Middlesex County, Beverly and Lynn in Essex County, Braintree and Canton in Norfolk County, and Norton in Bristol County. The US Open match played by Tashi was recorded at a venue in one such destination instead of its real-world location in Queens at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

New York City, New York

A filming unit ventured to the iconic metropolis of NYC in order to capture some of the authentic backgrounds of the city seen in the film. These included establishing shots and scenes with recognizable landscapes. NYC and its surrounding cities are some of the most expensive and complex areas to conduct filming, especially on location. Therefore, in several contemporary productions, NYC is replicated using other metropolitan sites, with likely only a postcard shoot carried out in the Big Apple.

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