Everything To Know About The Weeknd’s HBO Show The Idol
The already controversial series will premiere on HBO just weeks after making its debut at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Weeknd has teamed up with Euphoria creator Sam Levinson for HBO’s The Idol, marking the Grammy winner’s first major foray into the world of acting. Fans got a first glimpse on July 16 with a teaser trailer for the limited series, which follows The Weeknd, who’s credited as his birth name Abel Tesfaye, as a “self-help guru and leader of a modern-day cult” who becomes close to an up-and-coming pop singer played by Lily-Rose Depp.
While details about The Idol have been kept under wraps, production has already undergone some significant changes. In April 2022, HBO announced that the series was heading in a new creative direction and would be “adjusting its cast and crew accordingly to best serve” the new approach. As a result, director Amy Seimetz, who was set to helm all six episodes, and cast member Suzanna Son left the project, with Levinson given an increased directing role. According to Deadline, The Weeknd reportedly felt the show was leaning too much into a “female perspective” with Depp’s character, but she still remained a “key part of the show” following the creative changes.
HBO promises that it’s unlike anything viewers have seen before. “When the multi-talented Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye, Reza Fahim, and Sam Levinson brought us The Idol, it was clear their subversive, revelatory take on the cult of the music industry was unlike anything HBO had ever done before,” executive vice president of HBO programming Francesca Orsi said in a statement.
Here’s everything you need to know about The Idol.
HBO’s The Idol Trailer
On April 17, HBO unveiled The Idol’ final trailer, as well as the series’ official plotline after months of mystery and speculation. As reported by Deadline, the series will follow popstar Jocelyn (Depp), who’s determined to make her comeback as the “greatest and sexiest pop star in America” following a nervous breakdown, but naturally, her plans are threatened when she becomes entangled with Tedros (Tesfaye), who is described as “a nightclub impresario with a sordid past.”
The trailer, which uses Britney Spears’ hit “Gimme More,” gives insight into their potentially hazardous connection, which doesn’t seem to stop Jocelyn from performing her comeback show. “Hello angels,” she greets a stadium crowd at the end.
The Weeknd premiered The Idol’s first teaser trailer at his July 16 show at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey before HBO shared the teaser online. Calling itself “the sleaziest love story in all of Hollywood,” the teaser previews the unsettling romance between Jocelyn and Tesfaye’s cult leader, which seems filled with drugs, money, orgies, and every other vice that The Weeknd sings about on his albums. Even Jocelyn knows it’s a dangerous road to travel. “Do you trust me?” his character asks, to which she responds, “Not really.”
When Will The Idol Premiere?
On April 17, HBO announced that The Idol will finally premiere on June 4, with new episodes airing weekly on Sundays. Before then, the series will have its grand red carpet premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, which is held from May 16 to 27.
HBO’s The Idol Cast
Aside from Depp and The Weeknd, The Idol features an eclectic cast of actors and singers, including Debby Ryan, Hari Nef, Troye Sivan, Rachel Sennott, Steve Zissis, Dan Levy, and as revealed in the earlier teaser, Jennie from BLACKPINK. All American Rejects singer Tyson Ritter will also star in a recurring role, alongside Anne Heche, Melanie Liburd, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, Nico Hiraga, and TV on the Radio singer Tunde Adebimpe.
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