The Weeknd’s HBO Series “The Idol” Is Getting An Overhaul With Cast And Crew Changes
In between his busy schedule of recording music and being a general eccentric, The Weeknd is currently working on a TV series for HBO called The Idol, a drama about a female pop star, played by Lily-Rose Depp, who gets involved with a Los Angeles club owner-turned-secret cult member, played by The Weeknd. The show is co-created by The Weeknd’s long-term producing partner Reza Fahim and Euphoria creator Sam Levinson. So yes, it sounds like the perfect recipe for an HBO-style visual mess. Except it turns out that it’s already pretty messy behind the scenes. According to several sources, people are dropping from the project left and right, and some of the reason might be because The Weeknd thought the show was deviating from the real star of the show (aka The Weeknd).
According to Deadline, footage for about four or five episodes of a seven-episode series has already been shot, and after taking a look at that footage, The Weeknd (whose real name is Abel Tesfaye) allegedly determined that it was back to the drawing board. And this time, less footage of Lily-Rose Depp! Or any lady, for that matter.
The crux of the issue appears to be that Tesfaye, who headlined Coachella this year and played the Super Bowl halftime show last year, felt the show was leaning too much into a “female perspective”, according to sources, with co-star Lily Rose Depp’s character rather than his own. Rose Depp remains on board and a key part of the show following its creative overhaul.
But not everyone is still on board. To continue with the boat metaphor, it would appear that several members of the cast and crew have jumped ship, so to speak. On Tuesday, Deadline reported that director Amy Seimetz left the project. She was reportedly scheduled to direct every episode of the series. Deadline later added that actress Suzanna Son will not be returning to the project. There are no other details on who exactly is leaving, but HBO did confirm Deadline’s report of a major “creative overhaul” on The Idol with the following statement.
“The Idol’s creative team continues to build, refine, and evolve their vision for the show and they have aligned on a new creative direction. The production will be adjusting its cast and crew accordingly to best serve this new approach to the series. We look forward to sharing more information soon,” an HBO spokeswoman told Deadline.
This is made all the messier when you remember that Sam Levinson’s other high-profile HBO gig, Euphoria, has been plagued by endless rumors of a toxic work environment, with some specifically directed at Sam himself. Or, when you remember that The Weeknd maybe isn’t the most flexible person in the entertainment industry.
But, now that Amy Seimetz is gone from the director chair, Deadline says they’ve learned that Sam will likely step in and direct some episodes, as he has done previously with Euphoria. In that case, The Weeknd might want to book a crotch waxing appointment. You know, just in case Sam Levinson blindsides him on set with a last-minute nude scene request. And if all these rumors are correct, then something tells me The Weeknd will drop everything from the neck down and declare that Sam better shoot his business from at least fourteen different angles. He’s not the star of the show for nothing, after all!