New Report Details Wild Spending, Problematic Script Changes & An Out Of Control Production
Mar 1, 2023
So, uh, when is “The Idol” going to premiere on HBO? That’s a valid question to ask when you consider the first teaser was released months ago, followed fairly shortly by a second teaser. Alas, we don’t even have a release date or hint of a time frame outside of 2023. Well, if you read a new report from Rolling Stone about the behind-the-scenes drama that befell “The Idol,” it’s probably a miracle the show is even going to premiere at this point.
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For those unaware, “The Idol” stars Lily-Rose Depp and Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd. The series follows Depp’s character, an aspiring pop star, who becomes involved in a seriously toxic relationship with Tesfaye’s character, who is also the leader of a strange cult, meant to resemble the NXVIM group. Not only is the premise intriguing, but the series has a pretty great supporting cast and is produced by Sam Levinson, the man behind “Euphoria.” But boy, oh boy, have there been some issues in the incredibly long production of “The Idol.”
For all of the nitty gritty (emphasis on dirty, grimy gritty), you really should dive deep into the Rolling Stone piece. However, to best summarize, it appears that the issues began with the hiring of acclaimed filmmaker Amy Seimetz (“The Girlfriend Experience”) to direct the series. She was hired to put her spin on the series, according to the report, and that’s exactly what happened, rewriting scripts and allegedly changing the perspective of the show to better follow Depp’s female protagonist. And even though she reportedly filmed 80% of the series, which cost between $54 million and $75 million, Seimetz would abruptly leave the production and the show would experience a production stoppage.
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From there, that’s when things go from bad to worse. The report claims that Tesfaye was unhappy with the focus of the series being shifted to Depp’s character and the female perspective. So, Levinson, who wasn’t totally involved with the show as he was filming Season 2 of “Euphoria” at the time, was then brought in to rewrite and reshoot everything. This is where things get very speculative and less concrete.
Many of the sources quoted by Rolling Stone claim that the series changed in a variety of concerning ways. Allegedly, the new scripts included much more nudity (bordering on gratuitous) and some, uh, not-so-savory sexual situations involving possible assault. Not only that but the dynamic of the show was reportedly changed from a show about a woman coming into her own into a series about an incredibly toxic, abusive relationship between the two main characters.
Obviously, without seeing any of the episodes and a release date that seems to be never coming, it’s hard to know if the series will suffer because of the massive drama behind the scenes. However, if even a bit of the Rolling Stone report is true, it would appear that HBO is spending a ton of money on this show (shooting the season twice, seemingly), and it could end up being a colossal dud. Or maybe it’ll be the new “Euphoria.” We’ll have to wait and see.
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