Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye is set to return to acting in a role that won’t be delegated to being punched in a club. The Grammy-nominated artist and his creative producer Reza Fahim are developing the drama series The Idol for HBO. The singer will star in the series, as well as co-write and executive produce with Fahim and Euphoria showrunner Sam Levinson.
The Idol will focus on a famous female pop star who crosses paths with a mysterious club owner. However, the budding relationship harbors dark secrets, particularly the existence of a secret cult the enigmatic man leads in the Los Angeles underground.
Tesfaye, who previously wrote and starred in an episode of Family Guy, will join a writing team consisting of Mary Laws and Joseph Epstein. The latter will also act as showrunner. His manager Wassim Slaiby and creative director La Mar C. Taylor are slated to co-executive produce the series. Levinson and his producing partner and wife Ashley will also serve as executive producers alongside Tesfaye, Fahim, Epstein, Kevin Turen, and Aaron L. Gilbert.
It is unclear whether Tesfaye will play the cult leader or will take on an undisclosed role. However, if his creative direction for his recent After Hours era is any indication, he could pull off the role extremely well. After all, many of the visuals of the album relied heavily on flashing lights and surrealist imagery. Even if the Tammi Brothers, who designed and directed the visuals that brought After Hours to life, are not involved, the idea of a collaboration between Tesfaye and the stylistic Levinson is still intriguing. Let’s just hope it’s not another attempt at explaining the pitfalls of art criticism or society as a whole, unlike a certain other project.
Further details on casting and an expected production date on The Idol have not been revealed.