Words: Ciarán Howley
Images: Kevin Mazur, Getty Images
But network HBO have requested some changes
A new series written by and starring the Weeknd is undergoing reshoots this week after network HBO announced in April that the series was set to be revised under new creative direction.
First announced in January 2021, R&B fans everywhere rejoiced at the news that the Weeknd and Euphoria creator Sam Levinson were coming together on a new project. Entitled, the Idol, the series is to be produced by A24 from a script by the Starboy himself and Reza Fahim, to be aired in 2022.
While plot details remain scant, the initial first announcement suggests something of a dark modern fairy tale set in the Hollywood hills. In her television debut, Lily-Rose Depp plays a pop-star who falls for an enigmatic Los Angeles club owner – living a double life as the leader of an underground cult.
However, it seems the production hit a wall as in April 2022, as a spokesperson for HBO came out and announced major changes for the series.
“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.”
Initial director Amy Seimitz has exited the project, with her successor yet to be announced. HBO’s announcement suggests the series has a new script, hence the reshoots currently taking place. Reports also suggest the series length has been trimmed from six episodes to five.
Snaps from the set caught previously announced cast members Troye Sivan and Lily-Rose Depp, alongside newcomer Rachel Sennott.
Of the many new additions, Sennott’s is the most intriguing. She made her acting debut in the 2020 indie drama Shiva Baby, about a bisexual Jewish sugar baby perpetually on the struggle-bus. She’s got an upcoming role in the A24 horror Bodies, Bodies, Bodies but most will remember her for this moment.
Perfect casting really for a show about celebs in Tinseltown.
There were even rumours that Britney Spears would play a role in the series but that has yet to be confirmed. However, one cast member has been cut from the series; Suzanna Son, best known for her role in Sean Baker’s Red Rocket. HBO have yet to give comment on the decision.
Presently there has been no announcement from A24 or HBO about the release date of the show. It’s likely with rewrites and reshoots, the show is still not ready for a full rollout quite yet.
Optimists are gunning for a late 2022 release date, but we’ll have to wait and see. For now check out the Twitter account ‘the Idol Updates’ which have been diligently keeping the XO crew up-to-date on all things the Idol.
Elsewhere on District: Under the Radar: A24’s Most Overlooked Movies