Early ‘Euphoria’ Season 3 Script Imagined Zendaya Rue as a Detective


The fate of the third season of Euphoria seems murkier than ever.

Following the massive success of Euphoria‘s Season One in 2019, Season Two was hit with the COVID pandemic and didn’t hit HBO until 2022. Afterwards, the tragic death of Angus Cloud, who played the beloved character Fezco, and the Hollywood writers and actors strikes, led to multiple delays and setbacks for the third installment.

On Monday, HBO revealed that while creator Sam Levinson was still “committed” to making a third season of the hit drama, any projected premiere dates have been postponed. Variety reported that Levinson is intent on trying to get one final season of the series and its high-wattage cast, but sources told the outlet that the show’s script has undergone several rewrites and creative disagreements.

Levinson, who writes and directs each episode, at one point pitched his Season Three vision in winter 2023, which fast forwarded the former students of East Highland High School five years into the future. One of his first passes reportedly included an immediately-vetoed storyline in which Zendaya’s Rue was written into more of a background role as a private detective. A source told Variety that early drafts also included “very compelling” arcs for Sydney Sweeney and Jacob Elordi’s Cassie and Nate, respectively, and that HBO thought it was a strong start.

However, as news drafts rolled in post-WGA strike, they reportedly didn’t make it past Zendaya, who has garnered two Emmys from the series and is a executive producer for the show. From late 2023 to early 2024, Levinson submitted new scripts with one including an idea from Zendaya herself offering a new outcome for Rue, this time as a now sober young woman who would be a pregnancy surrogate.

However, the revised scripts still couldn’t nail the show’s tone, and as the creative differences piled on, HBO began to explore other scenarios — with one involving Levinson stepping away from the show he created, per Variety. According the outlet, potential movie or specials were eventually thrown out, but sources said the show’s stars are still contracted for a third season. The entire cast — particularly Zendaya, Sweeney and Elordi — and Levinson are dedicated to sticking with Euphoria to the end of Season Three, sources said.

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In the meantime, HBO has stated that its cast has been allowed to “pursue other opportunities,” as several Euphoria stars have had major success since the teen drama first aired in 2019. Hunter Schaffer starred as Tigris in The Hunger Games prequel (2023), Jacob Elordi played the “King of Rock’n’ Roll” in A24’s Elvis (2023) and a leading role in the critically acclaimed Saltburn, while Zendaya just wrapped her role as Chani in Dune: Part Two earlier this month (with Luca Guadagino’s Challengers releasing in April).

Levinson has also spent a few years balancing Euphoria with HBO’s doomed musical drama The Idol, which was plagued by its own set of delays, reshoots, and rewrites. The Weeknd-starring series later faced allegations of a horrible on-set atmosphere, as reported by Rolling Stone, and was cancelled in August 2023 after just five episodes.



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