The idol goes in series.
The music industry drama, co-created by Sam Levinson, Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye and Reza Fahim, received an HBO series order and completed its cast, including red rocket rising star Suzanna Son.
Amy Seimetz, who directed episodes of Atlanta and The girlfriend experience, will direct all six episodes.
The series, which will be filmed in and around Los Angeles, sees pop star Tesfaye, known for hits such as “Blinding Lights,” alongside Lily-Rose Depp, as revealed by Deadline in September, as well as co-writing and executive production.
It is set against the backdrop of the music industry, focusing on a modern-day self-help guru and cult leader, who develops a complicated relationship with a rising pop idol.
HBO 2020-21 Pilots & Series Orders
Son, who broke through in Sean Baker’s feature film red rocket alongside Simon Rex, is a series regular alongside Steve Zissis (Unity) and Troye Sivan (Potato). Anne Heche, Melanie Liburd, Tunde Adebimpe, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Nico Hiraga are recurring.
Joseph Epstein (health and wellbeing) will serve as showrunner and writer on the project. Levinson, Tesfaye, Fahim, Epstein, Seimetz, Ashley Levinson, Kevin Turen, Nick Hall, Sara E. White and Bron Studios’ Aaron Gilbert will serve as executive producers with A24.
Francesca Orsi, Executive Vice President of Programming at HBO, said: “When multi-talented Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye, Reza Fahim and Sam Levinson brought us idol, it was clear that their subversive and revealing take on the cult of the music industry was unlike anything HBO had done before. Soon after, the brilliant duo Joe Epstein and Amy Seimetz teamed up with the rest of the team, and that dream came true.