UPDATED: Amy Seimetz has exited as the director of the Weeknd’s HBO drama “The Idol,” Variety has learned. The series is being reworked with changes to its cast and crew. According to sources, production was already completed on multiple episodes of the six-episode series, which will now be redone due to a change in creative directions.
Seimetz is known for her work as an actor in series such as “The Killing” on AMC and “Family Tree” on HBO. She co-created Starz’s “The Girlfriend Experience” based on Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 film of the same name. Sources tell Variety that Sam Levinson, who serves as co-creator and executive producer of “The Idol” and helms HBO’s “Euphoria,” will likely take Seimetz’s place as director.
“‘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,” HBO said in a statement to Variety. “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.”
HBO declined to comment on Seimetz’s exit and which cast and crew members are leaving the production.
Co-created by the Weeknd aka Abel Tesfaye, Sam Levison and Reza Fahim, “The Idol” is set set against the backdrop of the music industry, centers on a self-help guru and leader of a modern-day cult, who develops a complicated relationship with an up-and-coming pop idol.
“The Idol” was first announced as being in development in June 2021 with the Weeknd serving as co-creator and star. Lily Rose-Depp was cast in September, and in November, HBO greenlit the series. Troye Sivan, Suzanna Son and Steve Zissis were announced as series regulars on the show with Melanie Liburd, Tunde Adebimpe, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, Nico Hiraga and Anne Heche in recurring roles.
Amy Seimetz was announced as the director and executive producer while Joe Epstein would serve as showrunner. Levinson would executive produce via Little Lamb along with Ashley Levinson and Kevin Turen, while Aaron L. GIibert executive produces via Bron Studios and Nick Hall and Sara E. White executive produce along with A24.
Though the Weeknd is primarily known for his accomplishments in the music world, such as his 2022 album “Dawn FM,” his Grammy-winning 2016 album “Starboy,” this will not be his first time on screen. He wrote and starred in a 2020 episode of TBS’ hit animated comedy “American Dad” and also played himself in Josh and Benny Safdie’s acclaimed 2019 thriller film “Uncut Gems” opposite Adam Sandler. Additionally, he was nominated for an Emmy in 2021 for his performance at the Super Bowl halftime show and an Academy Award nomination his song “Earned It,” the lead single from the “Fifty Shades of Grey” soundtrack.