A24’s The Idol might be 2022’s hottest show

Written by on 26/01/2022

As we speak, a coterie of stars are gathering in Los Angeles to shoot an A24 limited series that’s set to be the talk of 2022. It’s called The Idol, and was the brainchild of Sam Levinson and The Weeknd, who’s involved in just about every part of the process as its co-creator, co-writer, executive producer and lead actor.  

Last time Sam Levinson linked up with a musician, said musician was Drake and the result was Euphoria. So with a potential new hit on their hands, A24 knew exactly what to do: gather a group of established actors and up-and-coming talent — as well as a few musical crossover stars — and get to work. Here’s what we know so far about The Idol.

What’s the plot of The Idol?

The deeper details of The Idol’s world are yet to be revealed, but we do know that there’s already been some switching around of the show’s plot. The most significant seems to be the perspective. When first announced, the show was about a young female popstar who falls into a relationship with an unruly, enigmatic owner of an LA nightclub who also happens to be the covert leader of a secret cult (hate when that happens). But a more recent plotline seems to mix things up a bit, with the club owner character becoming a self-help guru and cult leader instead. The show will now focus on him specifically, exploring his relationship with the female pop star.

How many episodes will there be?

While American TV has a habit of stretching out over two dozen episodes, those with short attention spans will be glad to know that The Idol has been commissioned as a six-part miniseries. Think We Are Who We Are, The White Lotus and Normal People. It might be a test for a larger episode run to come. 

Who’s in the show’s cast?

Leading up the show’s acting team is, of course, Abel Tesfaye, known better as The Weeknd, who it would seem is planning to assume the lead role of the self-help-guru-slash-cult leader. The running order of the announcements so far suggests that the show’s popstar character will be Lily Rose-Depp, making her television debut after seven years in film. 

The supporting cast has us excited too, particularly the inclusion of Suzanna Son, who won critical acclaim for her complex turn as an easily-swayed schoolgirl in Sean Baker’s latest movie Red Rocket, also released by A24. Popstar Troye Sivan — now segueing back into acting with this and a coming-of-age HIV drama Three Months due later this year — has also been cast in an undisclosed role. He’s not the only musician in the mix: Tyson Ritter, the once-frontman of The All American Rejects, has been cast in a recurring role too. Melanie Liburd, star of This is Us, will also have a recurring role, alongside Teen Wolf’s Maya Eshet. And, according to IMDB, we’ll even get a guest appearance from Skate Kitchen and Booksmart star Nico Hiraga.

And who’s behind the camera?

Much like The Weeknd’s involvement here, there’s a multi-hyphenate team behind the camera too. The show’s six episodes will all be directed by Amy Seimetz, who’s acted in indie films like Upstream Colour and Lean on Pete, and major TV shows like Stranger Things and The Girlfriend Experience. She’s worked behind the camera directing several episodes of the latter TV show and Atlanta too. 

As well as A24, Bron Studios are part of the show’s creation, and so the series shares executive producers with movies like Licorice Pizza, Joker and House of Gucci. More team members — like cinematographers, production designers, make-up artists and (perhaps most importantly) who’s behind the score — are yet to be announced.

Is Britney Spears in The Idol?

Long story short, it doesn’t look like it. Back in November, the same day The Idol was announced, Britney jumped on Instagram and revealed that, since her conservatorship had ended, she’d shot a movie called The Idol. Of course, The Weeknd’s project is a show rather than a movie, but the serendipitous announcement, especially considering the show’s plot, had people thinking Britney was about to make her first post-Crossroads return to acting. The rumour was apparently debunked by Britney’s team, who, according to TMZ, claimed she had no plans to return to acting. Maybe her version of The Idol was a homemade project instead? 

What’s the release date for The Idol?

The show is currently shooting in LA, with Troye Sivan posting selfies from his make-up trailer, so don’t expect episodes to drop anytime soon. But bearing in mind we’re getting six episodes rather than the usual series length, it’s possible they could start materialising sooner rather than later. The summer drop of Euphoria season one boded well for HBO and A24, and since season two arrived at the top end of the year, maybe they’re saving that summer spot for The Idol? Let’s wait and see.

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