The Weeknd To Star In His First Movie Alongside Jenna Ortega & Barry Keoghan
— 1 March 2023

The Weeknd To Star In His First Movie Alongside Jenna Ortega & Barry Keoghan

— 1 March 2023
Garry Lu
WORDS BY
Garry Lu

In addition to stepping into the spotlight for his X-rated HBO drama The Idol – which has apparently been facing delay after delay – The Weeknd (real name: Abel Tesfaye) is gearing up to take on his first starring role in a feature-length movie that he’s also co-written.

Much like coverage surrounding The Idol during the initial stages of announcement, this currently untitled project is shrouded in considerable mystery vis-à-vis plot, content, and even genre. All we know is that it’ll be directed by Trey Edwards Shults (Waves, It Comes At Night), who also co-wrote the screenplay, with both Jenna Ortega (Scream VI, Wednesday) and the Academy Award-nominated Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk, The Banshees of Inisherin) onboard.

The film will be produced by Shults, Tesfaye himself, Tesfaye’s producing partner Reza Fahim (another co-writer), as well as Kevin Turen and Harrison Kreiss. Chayse Irvin has been tapped for the cinematography, while composer and producer OPN (real name: Daniel Lopatin) will collaborate with The Weeknd for the score. As Variety notes, OPN has previously accomplished the heart-pumping scores for The Safdie Brother’s Good Time and Uncut Gems, the latter of which The Weeknd had a cameo role.

As for HBO’s The Idol, while a release date has yet to be confirmed, it’s on track to arrive sometime in 2023. Maybe. We’ll see.

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Co-created by the “sick and twisted mind” behind Euphoria, Sam Levinson, alongside Reza Fahim and the talented Mr Tesfaye, the story centres upon a rising pop singer named Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp) who finds herself entangled in a romance with an “enigmatic” modern-day cult leader (The Weeknd). In a previous iteration of The Idol, said cult leader was also an LA club owner. That has since been revised to a “self-help guru.”

As expected from the likes of Levinson and The Weeknd, both of whom are renowned for explicit and unflinching depictions of drugs + sex + emotional violence in their respective works, this won’t be something you’ll want to watch with your mother. And HBO has made that painfully clear with the teaser trailers.

Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd have been joined by Suzanna Son, Australia’s own Troye Siva, Moses Sumney, Jane Adams, Dan Levy, Jennie Ruby Jane of Blackpink fame, Tarantino protégé Eli Roth, Hari Nef, Hank Azaria, and music-producing legend Mike Dean.

Mary Laws of SuccessionPreacher, and Neon Demon fame has co-written The Idol with The Weeknd, while Joseph Epstein has steered the ship as showrunner and Atlanta alum Amy Seimetz has directed all six episodes. Bonus: the upcoming drama series also counts the involvement of indie powerhouse A24.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6g6R6x17yA

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Garry Lu
WORDS by
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]

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