10 July 2023

‘The Idol’ could have included a Britney Spears-style backstory according to surfaced images

Pictures of Lily Rose-Depp’s character’s backstory have been leaked, showing what the 80% finished series was going to be under the direction of Amy Seimetz.

Images have re-surfaced revealing what The Idol was actually set to cover had it been left to the creative vision of Amy Seimetz. It’s a completely different world altogether, showing BTS pictures of Lily Rose Depp’s character Jocelyn as a child star evolving into somewhat of an icon as her career progressed. The never-before-seen shots show cutouts of her in pink getups, with bags of merch surrounding her and what looks like a throwback to the 00s. “They’ve definitely been influenced by Britney’s ‘Baby One More Time’ era by the looks of these behind-the-scenes pics,” says one fan. There is even an image of The Weeknd’s character with no rat tail hairdo – something no fan could justify upon release.

The Idol’s director, Euphoria’s Sam Levinson, only stepped in to lead the series after Seimetz left. It was evolving, apparently, and hadn’t needed Seimetz after it took on a new creative vision. Even whilst they were still in the filming stages, the press and fans were going wild for what was set to be a game-changer of a show. 

The formula for The Idol was faultless: an ‘it’ girl nepo baby protagonist in Depp; one of the world’s biggest superstars, The Weeknd, leading the idea; Sam Levinson as the creator of one of the most successful TV shows directing; and a concept that champions the 2023 obsession with the blonde bombshell and child star turned megastar. So why did it fail so hard? It was missing the focus on playful satire and instead relied too much on the darkness of fame and sex appeal of Depp’s character. We get it – we just didn’t like it.

If we were to look at it objectively, we could say it was a matter of creative differences. “One of the biggest flaws in Sam Levinson’s version was that Jocelyn being a pop star never felt real or authentic so it would’ve been nice to see that fleshed out,” says one fan. But it is one that would have justified the later choices that then became extremely controversial. It was dubbed as “sexual torture porn” according to Rolling Stone, when it really set out to be the “sleaziest love story in Hollywood” according to the HBO preview. 

The new direction was announced in the April of 2022, and an HBO spokesperson said that it was a decision made by the “cast and crew accordingly to best serve this new approach.” Unfortunately, reports stated that Seimetz had 80% finished the series, and it was The Weeknd who disapproved of the “female perspective”. It is no wonder that the images of the series pre-Levinson have surfaced, and fans are obsessing over what could have been. The show has now ended after five episodes of its first season, with no plans to announce a second.

  • Writer Ella Chadwick
  • Banner Image Credit HBO

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