Lily-Rose Depp’s New Show Is In Unbelievable Trouble?

HBO's The Idol is reeling after allegations arise of toxic working conditions on the set.

By Britta DeVore | Updated

lily-rose depp the idol

Since audiences first learned about the casting of Lily-Rose Depp in The Weeknd aka Abel Tesfaye’s upcoming HBO drama The Idol, they’ve been excited to hear news and see the first looks of the music-centered series. Unfortunately, it sounds like the bright lights may be flickering on the set after 13 sources stepped forward to speak with Rolling Stone, in a piece that they released on Wednesday, to share their stories of backstage drama taking place behind the scenes. While according to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO is denying those allegations about Johnny Depp‘s daughter’s project, the anonymous sources say that down-to-the-wire revisions paired with toxic working conditions may shut down the series before it’s able to take center stage.

The trouble allegedly all started after director Amy Seimetz left the production following some creative differences between her and co-creators Tesfaye and Sam Levinson. Best known for creating HBO’s mega-hit series Euphoria, Levinson took the reins on the Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd-led series, with one source claiming that the decision was made to completely trash Seimetz’s vision of “the nearly finished $54-$75 million project” and to start The Idol from square one. The series was also stalled during Seimetz’s time at the helm, with the filming time jumping from three months to five.

Another troubling change that was cited in the Rolling Stone report was that the insiders said that the tone of the script majorly shifted from being a “dark satire of fame and the fame model in the 21st century” to a story that included graphic and troubling scenes depicting sexual assault. Ultimately, these pages would get the ax so, as of right now, audiences don’t need to expect any content of that kind when the series makes it onto the platform. The source went on to say that while it was always about Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd’s characters’ rise to fame, “[The Idol] went from satire to the thing it was satirizing.”

the idol lily rose depp

As for the series, The Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp respectively star in The Idol as Tedros, a modern-day cult leader, and Jocelyn, a singer with stardom on her mind. Tedros, who also owns a nightclub, gives Jocelyn a taste of the high life and quickly realizes that the burgeoning pop star may be his ticket to the big leagues. At the heart of it all is passion, lies, sex, and scandals – and of course, plenty of drugs and rock n’ roll – as both Tedros and Jocelyn try to further themselves along in their pursuit for fame and fortune. 

While we may not see the exact first take of what Seimetz had envisioned Lily-Rose Depp’s Jocelyn and The Weeknd’s Tedros to look like in The Idol, HBO struck back against the allegations that they completely scrapped the initial shoots. The network did say that they were forced to recalibrate the series when “the initial approach on the show… unfortunately, did not meet HBO standards so we chose to make a change.” They also slammed the claims made that the workplace was a toxic environment, saying that those backing the production have been hard at work “creating a safe, collaborative, and mutually respectful working environment.”

Meanwhile, Lily-Rose Depp spoke out about her time filming The Idol, commenting that Levinson has been the best director that she’s ever had the pleasure of working with and that she hasn’t experienced any of the negative conditions now getting press. In what she called a “true collaboration,” the actress went on to give praise to the way that Levinson runs the sets of his production where Depp feels that she and her co-workers are “supported” and “respected.” As of right now, The Idol has not set a release date but it’s expected to make its way out of the shadows and onto the stage sometime in 2023.