Sources confirmed to IndieWire that two or three episodes of The Weeknd and Sam Levinson’s A24 drama will be screened out of competition at the festival.
HBO’s The Weeknd-Sam Levinson production “The Idol” will be screened out of competition at the iconic Cannes Film Festival, sources close to production have confirmed to IndieWire, before it airs sometime this fall.
The show, starring co-creator Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd) and Lily-Rose Depp, will be screened at the prestigious festival’s 76th edition, which runs from May 16 to May 27. Either the first two or three episodes at the A festival are expected to air a six-part season, according to sources. Programmers are debating how many episodes to air as the third ends on a big cliffhanger. HBO representatives told IndieWire that “The Idol”‘s visit to Cannes remains unconfirmed.
Earlier this month, Variety reported that Tesfaye had hoped to bring the show to Cannes, but it was not screened for festival programmers.
Choosing “The Idol” is an unusual move for the world’s most traditional film festival. The HBO series wouldn’t be the first TV show to be selected as an out-of-competition program at Cannes, premiering episodes of two seasons of Jane Campion’s “Top of the Lake” and David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks: The Return” given home. However, both performances came from established auteurs and Cannes royalty: Campion won the Palme d’Or in 1993 for “The Piano” and Lynch in 1990 for “Wild at Heart.”
In contrast, neither Tesfaye nor Levinson have much of a track record at Cannes. Tesfaye made a guest appearance at the festival in 2018, but her only major film credit is a cameo at the 2019 Telluride premiere, “Uncut Gems.” Levinson, best known for HBO and A24’s “Euphoria,” has directed three films — “Assassination Nation,” “Another Happy Day” and “Malcolm & Marie” — none of which screened at Cannes.
“The Idol” has come under intense scrutiny over the past month Rolling stone released an extensive report on alleged problems with the show’s filming after Levinson took over directing duties in April 2022. Levinson took over after original director Amy Seimetz left, reportedly due to Tesfaye’s complaints that the show focused too much on the female perspective. .”
In a statement to IndieWire, HBO denied the Rolling Stone report, saying, “Throughout the process, the creative team has been committed to creating a safe, collaborative and mutually respectful work environment, and last year the team made creative changes. they served the interests of both the production and the cast and crew.” In a statement, Depp defended Levinson, whom he called “the best director I’ve ever worked with.”
A drama about an aspiring pop star (Depp) who falls in love with a self-help guru/cult leader (Tesfaye), The Idol stars Suzanna Son, Troye Sivan, Moses Sumney, Jane Adams, Dan Levy, Jennie Ruby Jane, Eli Roth, Rachel Sennott, Hari Nef , Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Mike Dean and Hank Azaria. Tesfaye and Levinson produced the series for television with Reza Fahim.
Other early titles at this year’s Cannes Film Festival include Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon and Pedro Almodóvar’s short film Strange Way of Life.
Additional reporting by Eric Kohn and Tony Maglio
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