HBO’s ‘The Idol’: What We Know About The Weeknd’s New Show And The Controversy Surrounding It
Ever since HBO announced The Idol, there has been significant buzz all over the internet about the show’s release date. Now, it has been reported that the dark and twisted series will premiere in June on HBO Max. While we have a clearer idea about when the show is going to premiere, the exact release date hasn’t been revealed yet.
The show has also been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. It has been reported that creator Sam Levinson and lead actor The Weeknd helped foster a toxic workplace environment. Reportedly, the original scripts also featured a lot of violent scenes that, according to Rolling Stone, can be described as someone’s ‘rape fantasy’.
Despite reports of the toxic workplace environment, Lily-Rose Depp, the lead star of The Idol, has released a statement defending Barry Levinson. “Never have I felt more supported or respected in a creative space, my input and opinions more valued”.
The Weeknd too took to Twitter to respond to the allegations with a scene from the show that disses Rolling Stone.
.@RollingStone did we upset you? pic.twitter.com/Uyx06lyRgx
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) March 1, 2023
Co-created by musician The Weeknd, also known as Abel Tesfaye, Euphoria’s director Sam Levison and Reza Fahim, The Idol is based on the music industry. According to the plot description by Variety, the story revolves around a modern-day cult leader who eventually develops a complicated relationship with an up-and-coming pop idol.
What is HBO’s The Idol about?
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HBO’s The Idol will have six episodes. The pop idol is being played by Lily-Rose Depp, while the cult leader is being essayed by The Weeknd. The trailer of the series opens with the words “From the sick and twisted minds of the Creator of Euphoria Sam Levinson and Abel ‘The Weekend’ Tesfaye,” and describes the story’s romance as “the sleaziest love story”.
Who is in The Idol’s cast?
Besides Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd, the cast of The Idol also includes Suzanna Son, Troye Sivan, Moses Sumney, Jane Adams, Dan Levy, Jennie Kim, Eli Roth, Rachel Sennott, Melanie Liburd, Tunde Adebimpe, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, Nico Hiraga and Anne Heche (who tragically passed away last year).
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The series was first in development in June 2021, when news broke out that The Weeknd has been writing and planning to work on a TV series. A few months later around September 2021, Depp was cast and in November 2021, HBO took over the project.
The show will also feature the debut of BLACKPINK’s Jennie
K-pop fans in particular have something to look forward to as BLACKPINK’s Jennie will also make her acting debut with The Idol. Speaking about how this role came to her in an interview with Yonhap, Jennie explained that she found the script intriguing and wanted to be a part of the series.
It seems like the highly-anticipated TV series will be worth the wait.
(Hero and feature image credit: Courtesy IMDb/ The Idol)