The Weeknd's HBO Series 'The Idol' in Talks to Debut at Cannes Film Festival

Earlier this month, the Sam Levinson-led series sparked controversy as the 'Euphoria' mastermind reportedly turned the drama into 'torture porn' and 'rape fantasy.'

AceShowbiz - The Weeknd seemingly has quite a big plan for his HBO series "The Idol". If a new report is to be believed, the show is currently in talks to debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May this year.

Variety reported on Wednesday, March 8 that the Abel Tesfaye-led series eyes Cannes Film Festival premiere. One source told the news site that the 33-year-old musician has previously attended the Cannes Film Festival and is hopeful the show premieres there.

The festival has not yet screened the drama, which has undergone a great number of changes behind the scenes. Though primarily a film festival, a handful of TV series have been brought to Cannes in the past, including "Twin Peaks: The Return" and "Top of the Lake: China Doll".

Although HBO has released three teasers for "The Idol", a premiere date has yet to be announced. It is eyed for some time in 2023, but there have been multiple signs of trouble. In April 2022, director Amy Seimetz suddenly exited after multiple episodes had been completed.

Earlier this month, Rolling Stone reported that the Sam Levinson-led series, which underwent multiple reshoots, has "gone wildly, disgustingly off the rails," with sources claiming that its tone is "disturbing" and that many scenes include intense violence against women. However, production sources confirmed to Variety that the series still represents a "female perspective," with Lily-Rose Depp as the lead.

Debunking Rolling Stone's narrative, The Weeknd himself posted a clip from the series on Instagram and Twitter. The footage featured his character, a modern-day cult leader, and Lily-Rose's pop star character, Jocelyn, as they reject an offer for a Rolling Stone profile.

"Rolling Stone? Aren't they a little irrelevant?" The Weeknd's character says. "Rolling Stone has 6 million followers on Instagram, half of them probably bots. And Jocelyn has 78 million followers, all real I'd assume. So she does a photo shoot, she tags them, they get her followers. More money for Rolling Stone, nothing for Jocelyn."

Lily-Rose also defended "Euphoria" mastermind Sam against accusations he turned the new drama into "torture porn" and a "rape fantasy." Speaking to E! News, she said, "Sam is, for so many reasons, the best director I have ever worked with. Never have I felt more supported or respected in a creative space, my input and opinions more valued."

"Working with Sam is a true collaboration in every way - it matters to him, more than anything, not only what his actors think about the work, but how we feel performing it," the daughter of Johnny Depp added. "He hires people whose work he esteems and has always created an environment in which I felt seen, heard, and appreciated."

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