After months of anticipation, HBO Max has finally set a release date for The Idol, starring Lily-Rose Depp and Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye. The seedy pop melodrama will hit the streamer on Sunday, June 4 — and there’s a brand-new teaser to hold us over until then.
The series, co-created by Tesfaye, Euphoria creator Sam Levinson and Reza Fahim, follows pop star Jocelyn (portrayed by Depp) as she attempts to reclaim her status as the greatest and sexiest pop act in America after a nervous breakdown derailed her last tour. Her commitment and passions reach a new high after she meets and falls under the spell of Tedros (Tesfaye), an L.A. nightclub manager-slash-self-help guru with a sordid involvement of a modern-day cult, reminiscent of NXIVM and Scientology. The official description begs the question, “Will her romantic awakening take her to glorious new heights or the deepest and darkest depths of her soul?”
Keeping on theme, the new trailer plays to the tune of Britney Spears’ 2007 track “Gimme More,” as Depp poses for the camera in a slinky red robe and dances the night away in a club. “Pop music is, like, the ultimate Trojan horse,” says Tesfaye’s character Tedros. “We get people to dance, we get people to sing along.” Her management team expresses concern over the brutality of the press and private photos leaking, mixed in with clips of heady parting zipping through like flashing lights. “I want to be the biggest touring act ever,” proclaims Depp’s character.
The series has been a long time in the making and was completely “overhauled” earlier this year in a controversial decision to “fit a new creative direction,” per a recent damning Rolling Stone exposé, resulting in the exit of director Amy Seimetz from the project.
Amid allegations of workplace toxicity, misogyny, and creative clashing, HBO responded to the claims in a statement to Variety in March. “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 streamer stated. “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.”
Depp responded as well, praising Levinson for his work on the series. “Sam is, for so many reasons, the best director I have ever worked with,” she told People. “Never have I felt more supported or respected in a creative space, my input and opinions more valued.”
Dubbed the “sleaziest love story in Hollywood,” we can’t wait to fill the Succession-shaped hole in our Sunday night slots.