The Idol (TV series)
|Directed by||Sam Levinson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Production locations||Los Angeles, California|
The Idol is an upcoming American drama television series created by Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye, Reza Fahim, and Sam Levinson for HBO. It is set to star Lily-Rose Depp and Tesfaye in the leading roles, with Suzanna Son, Troye Sivan, Moses Sumney, Jane Adams, Dan Levy, Jennie Ruby Jane, Eli Roth, Rachel Sennott, Hari Nef, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Mike Dean, Ramsey, and Hank Azaria appearing as supporting characters.
Cast and characters
- Lily-Rose Depp as Jocelyn, an up-and-coming pop idol and Tedros' love interest
- Finley Rose Slater as younger Jocelyn
- Abel Tesfaye as Tedros, a self-help guru/leader of a modern-day cult and Jocelyn's love interest
- Suzanna Son as Chloe
- Troye Sivan
- Moses Sumney as Izaak
- Jane Adams as a director for Jocelyn's music video
- Dan Levy
- Jennie Ruby Jane as Anys
- Eli Roth as Jocelyn's uncle
- Rachel Sennott
- Hari Nef as a transgender model
- Da'Vine Joy Randolph as a legendary soul singer
- Mike Dean as a music producer
- Ramsey as a DJ
- Hank Azaria as Jocelyn's father
On June 29, 2021, Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye announced that he would be creating, executive producing and co-writing a drama series for HBO alongside Reza Fahim and Sam Levinson. On the same day, Ashley Levinson and Joseph Epstein were announced as executive producers for the series, with Epstein also serving as a writer and the series' showrunner. Mary Laws was also announced as a writer and will serve as a co-executive producer, alongside Tesfaye's co-manager Wassim Slaiby and his creative director La Mar Taylor. Amy Seimetz was signed on as the director and as an executive producer.
On November 22, HBO gave the production a series order for a first season consisting of six episodes. On January 14, 2022, Deadline Hollywood reported that Nick Hall had joined the production as an executive producer, following his move to A24 to oversee creative for the company's television slate.
In the initial announcement, Tesfaye revealed that he would be starring in the series. On September 29, 2021, it was reported that Lily-Rose Depp had signed on to play the female lead opposite Tesfaye. On November 22, Suzanna Son, Steve Zissis, and Troye Sivan joined the main cast, while Melanie Liburd, Tunde Adebimpe, Elizabeth Berkley, Nico Hiraga and Anne Heche were announced as recurring characters. On December 2, Juliebeth Gonzalez joined the cast as a series regular, while Maya Eshet, Tyson Ritter, Kate Lyn Sheil, Liz Caribel Sierra and Finley Rose Slater were cast in recurring roles.
On April 25, 2022, Variety reported that the show was set to undergo a major overhaul, with "drastic" changes in the cast and creative directions. On April 27, Deadline Hollywood reported that Son, Zissis and Gonzalez were not expected to return. In July, Rachel Sennott, and Hari Nef joined the cast. On the same day, Jennie Ruby Jane from the K-Pop band BLACKPINK joined the cast; this will be her first acting role. She will be the second bandmember to venture into acting, with Jisoo being the first.  Moses Sumney, Jane Adams, Dan Levy, Eli Roth, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Mike Dean, Ramsey, and Hank Azaria were confirmed as cast members on August 21 in the second teaser trailer.
Principal photography began in November 2021 in and around Los Angeles, California. Production was temporarily paused in April 2022 due to Tesfaye co-headlining the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival with Swedish House Mafia on short notice. On April 25, Variety reported that Seimetz had left the project amid its creative overhaul, with multiple episodes already filmed. HBO released a statement following Seimetz's exit, saying: "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."
Levinson reportedly took over Seimetz's directing duties. According to IndieWire and other sources, Tesfaye felt concerned that the show was "leaning too much into a female perspective." Production resumed in late May and was paused again in early July, just as Tesfaye began embarking on his After Hours til Dawn Tour. Scenes from The Idol were filmed in September at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California during Tesfaye's tour. Audience members were notified of the filming before the concert commenced. Shortly after, Variety reported that The Idol was set to be released in November. However, Son revealed that their report was not confirmed and that the official release date remains unknown.
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he was expecting to immediately jump on a plane to wrap filming in L.A in the six days between his Toronto and Philadelphia gigs.
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