Update, April 27 at 4:01 pm ET: Actress Suzanna Son has parted ways with HBO series “The Idol.” The news was announced just one day after director Amy Seimetz stepped away from the project, with co-creator and executive producer Sam Levinson expected to takeover directing duties despite the series already having reportedly filmed a majority of its Season 1 episodes.
Deadline reported that now “Red Rocket” breakout Son is also leaving “The Idol,” which stars series co-creator The Weeknd and Lily Rose-Depp. The outlet noted that The Weeknd allegedly felt the show was “leaning too much into a ‘female perspective'” according to sources.
Update, April 26 at 3:06 pm ET: Director Amy Seimetz officially exited “The Idol.” The “Girlfriend Experience” co-creator was slated to direct all episodes of the HBO music industry drama. As Deadline reported, executive producer Sam Levinson is now “expected to have more of a role in directing” the series. Levinson is the creator of “Euphoria” and also helmed 2021 Netflix film “Malcolm & Marie” starring “Euphoria” breakout Zendaya and John David Washington.
April 25: “The Idol” has found a new congregation. The upcoming HBO series, co-created and executive produced by The Weeknd, Sam Levinson, and Reza Fahim, is being significantly reworked with changes to the cast and crew, as multiple outlets have reported.
The series was first announced in June 2021, with The Weeknd also slated to star in the six-episode show about a Los Angeles nightclub owner-turned-cult leader who romances a rising pop star. Lily Rose-Depp was cast in September 2021, along with Troye Sivan, Suzanna Son, and Steve Zissis, plus recurring stars Melanie Liburd, Tunde Adebimpe, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, Nico Hiraga, and Anne Heche.
According to sources, production was already completed on multiple episodes of the six-episode series, which will now be redone due to a change in creative direction, as Deadline reported.
HBO representatives could not immediately be reached for comment, but the network has not shared which cast and crew are changing on 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,” HBO said in a statement. “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.”
“Atlanta” and “The Girlfriend Experience” director Amy Seimetz was announced as the director and executive producer for “The Idol,” with Joe Epstein serving as showrunner. “Euphoria” creator Levinson would executive produce via Little Lamb along with Ashley Levinson and Kevin Turen, while Aaron L. GIibert executive produces via Bron Studios and Nick Hall and Sara E. White executive produce along with A24.
“Succession” screenwriter Mary Laws was announced to write and co-exec produce with The Weeknd’s manager Wassim “SAL” Slaiby and creative director La Mar C. Taylor also co-exec producing.
“The Idol” is not The Weeknd’s first foray into TV: The Grammy winner previously wrote and starred in a 2020 episode of TBS’ animated series “American Dad.” The Weeknd also notably appeared in Josh and Benny Safdie’s “Uncut Gems” as a fictionalized version of himself.
Meanwhile, Levinson has been at the center of various reports and alleged SAG-AFTRA union complaints over the production atmosphere on “Euphoria.” The Daily Beast issued an investigative report in March 2022 about claims over 18-hour workdays.