Rewrites, Time Jump and Zendaya Script Notes

During its two seasons on HBO, “Euphoria” propelled its young cast to stardom and won multiple Emmys, while also being a magnet for controversy — but whatever awaits the Sam Levinson-created series will have to wait.

Earlier this week, HBO officially delayed the drama, which was set to begin production later this spring. “HBO and Sam Levinson remain committed to delivering an exceptional third season,” an HBO spokesperson said. Variety. “In the meantime, we are allowing our in-demand actors to pursue other opportunities.”

What the network isn’t saying is that no one at HBO is sure a third season of “Euphoria” will ever come to fruition given the disparate visions for the series’ next chapter. But “Euphoria” has been invaluable to the network — attracting the often elusive millennial and Gen Z viewers, as well as massive audiences — and executives at Casey Bloys believe they must try to finish the story.

Sources say Variety that Levinson, who has full creative control over the series, writing and directing every episode, came up with his vision for the winter 2023 season, with a time jump five years into the future for alumni of the ‘East Highland High School. HBO thought its pitch and early season drafts — which included meaty arcs for Sydney Sweeney and Jacob Elordi that one source described as “very compelling” — were a good start. But after the WGA strike ended and the full scripts began to arrive, they couldn’t convince Zendaya, the two-time Emmy-winning “Euphoria” star, who is now 27 . (HBO declined to comment, while Levinson’s team referred to HBO’s previous statement and declined further comment.)

Zendaya – who is in high demand in the movie world thanks to the box office performance of “Dune: Part Two” ($580 million worldwide and counting) – and Levinson have a creatively symbiotic relationship Since the beginning of “Euphoria,” this has carried over into the Netflix film “Malcolm & Marie” during the pandemic. Although she doesn’t have script veto power, as star and executive producer of “Euphoria,” Zendaya offered Levinson significant input on the direction she’d like to take Season 3. ( A rep for Zendaya did not respond to a request for comment.) Sources say Levinson was already in review mode, as actor Angus Cloud, who died of an overdose last July at the age of 25, featured heavily in the initial concept for the season. In November, Euphoria producer Kevin Turen died suddenly of heart failure at the age of 45, which was another traumatic blow for Levinson and the cast, and further slowed down the creative process .

When Levinson turned in his revised scripts in late 2023 and early 2024, HBO executives were now the ones feeling unsatisfied. There was a new arc for Zendaya’s Rue, whose character in Levinson’s first stint had been relegated to the background in a somewhat surprising storyline about her work as a private detective, which HBO immediately vetoed. Among many other rewrite ideas, Zendaya had floated an idea in which Rue, who is now sober as a young woman in her twenties, would be a surrogate for the pregnancy. But insiders say the new scripts just didn’t feel like the tone of the show.

Given all the creative disagreements, HBO explored other options, including the idea of ​​Levinson himself walking away from “Euphoria.” Other scenarios were proposed but discarded, such as a film or special shows, such as the two one-off shows broadcast by HBO during the pandemic, one in December 2020, the other the following month. But sources say Variety that not only have the show’s cast been signed on for a third season, but they’re all really committed to seeing “Euphoria” — along with Levinson — through to the end with a third season, especially Zendaya, Sweeney and Elordi .

The same cannot necessarily be said of their respective representatives, given the time required. After the second season, HBO renegotiated the actors’ deals and gave them significant pay raises. But for Zendaya, Sweeney and Elordi, all three earn on “Euphoria” far less than they could earn doing movies instead. Like Zendaya, Sweeney, 26, is coming off a big-screen hit with the romantic comedy “Anyone but You” ($217 million, though it’s a title with no pre-branded IP under underlying). Elordi, 26, also saw his stock rise significantly following the critical success of psychological thriller “Saltburn” and is currently filming Guillermo del Toro’s big-budget Netflix film “Frankenstein.”

Although Zendaya has yet to read Levinson’s new scripts, sources say the third season is not dead and could very well go ahead. HBO has released the cast for the remainder of 2024, promising to get back to them on October 1 with a solid plan to begin filming in 2025. Filming, if it were to take place, would tie up the cast for 25 weeks. and the season will likely be reduced from eight episodes to six – although if Levinson needed more, HBO would be open to it.

Levinson is now tackling the subject again, as creative conversations continue between him and HBO. (He has an overall deal with the network.) The network intends to try to get a final season of “Euphoria” from Levinson and his all-star cast. Some speculate that the success or lack thereof of Zendaya’s next film, “Challengers,” due out April 26, could influence the fate of “Euphoria” — and in the background, of course, looms the next one. Spider-Man 4″, although the script for this film is still being prepared, and there is no director or start date.

What is this not on the table for “Euphoria” to go into production without completed scripts that everyone is happy with. Levinson did this during the unprecedented situation that was “The Idol,” his troubled project with The Weeknd, which was considered a creative disaster and an expensive vanity project for HBO.

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News Source : variety.com


With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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