‘Euphoria’: HBO Considered Replacing Creator Sam Levinson, But Cast Remains “Committed” To Showrunner In New Report

The talk of TV this week has been the delay of “Euphoria” Season 3, and many questions about the HBO series abound. When will the upcoming season start shooting? Will Sam Levinson‘s updated script keep the five-year time jump that brings his characters out of high school? And with its stars becoming increasingly in-demand, will a new season of “Euphoria” even happen at this point? And could HBO continue the series without Levinson at the helm?

READ MORE: ‘Euphoria’: Sydney Sweeney Says S3 Delays Will Allow “So Much Room For Growth” & Promises A “Very, Very Wild” Arc For Cassie

Variety has an update on all of these matters and more. First up: Levinson’s scripts for Season 3. Levinson’s original pitch to HBO in winter 2023 jumps ahead five years, with “very compelling” arcs for Sydney Sweeney‘s Cassie and Jacob Elordi‘s Nate. But when the actors got their hands on full scripts after the WGA strike, they didn’t fly with Zendaya. And while the actress doesn’t have the power to veto said scripts, she does have influence as the show’s Emmy-winning star and an executive producer, so she offered input to Levinson, who subsequently overhauled Rue’s storyline.

That was okay with Levinson since he was already reworking the scripts due to the death of Angus Cloud last July and “Euphoria” producer Kevin Turen passing away last November. But after Levinson finished his updates to the S3 scripts, a new party wasn’t happy with them: HBO execs. They didn’t like Rue’s new arc, which relegated the character to the sidelines as she works as a private detective. HBO vetoed the new changes, which sent Levinson back to the writing desk again with several new ideas pitched to him, among those Zendaya’s proposition to make Rue a pregnancy surrogate. According to Variety, insiders also say the updated scripts didn’t tonally feel like “Euphoria,” which means Levinson will have to revise them once again.

So where does that leave S3 now? HBO has reportedly explored several options, including Levinson stepping away from the show. But Levinson has complete creative control over the series, so that would be easier said than done. HBO is also considering a “Euphoria” movie or specials, like the two HBO aired during the COVID-19 pandemic in December 2020 and January 2021. With “Euphoria” Season 2 now over two years old, another couple of one-off special episodes may not be a bad idea. But whatever HBO decides to do, they’re committed to seeing Season 3 through, with Levinson at the helm, and with the show’s stars returning, as they’re contracted to do.

But even with that conviction, there will be adjustments for “Euphoria” going forward. With Sweeney and Elordi’s Hollywood stars rising, and Zendaya’s already fully ascendant, expect all three actors to receive major salary bumps. That already happened for the cast for Season 2, but it’s a different landscape now. All three stars are in high demand, and they’d make more money doing new movies than a TV series, no matter how hyped-up that series is. And since HBO freed the cast from any commitment to the show for the rest of the year, who knows what its cast members might get parts in over the next several months?

HBO has told the “Euphoria” cast that they’ll get an update about Season 3 on October 1, along with a plan for filming in 2025. The shoot for S3 will also last 25 weeks, meaning new episodes may not reach audiences until 2026, four years after the show’s previous season. Will HBO be cool with that, and will “Euphoria” still be in vogue two years from now? Given the star power of its cast, it likely will be, but Sam Levinson is on shaky ground with HBO after what a debacle “The Idol” was last year. In other words, these new scripts of his better be amazing (and completely finished), or “Euphoria” and its new season may be no more. And even if Levinson’s scripts are amazing, Season 3 of “Euphoria” will most certainly be its last.