With its stable of young, increasingly popular stars, an iconoclastic creator in Sam Levinson , and grueling shoots, Euphoria is a uniquely challenging series to make. It’s why the HBO hit, which has made actors like Sydney Sweeney and Jacob Elordi household names and affirmed the high-wattage power of Zendaya, has no clear release date for its third season. The second season ended in February 2022, and since then there’s been little clarity on when the polarizing teen drama will return, and what the plot could look like going forwards.
The status of the third season is unclear, but Levinson just offered a tantalizing new tease tucked into a comment he provided as a a secondary interview for Zendaya’s new Elle cover. While raving about Zendaya, who has won two Emmys for her work on the series, Levinson revealed that the next season will be a “film noir” with Zendaya’s Rue as the lens to “explore what it means to be an individual with principles in a corrupt world.”
“She’s the most competitive person I know, in a good way,” Levinson told Elle of Zendaya. “She’s constantly growing as an artist and always seeking a challenge. She’s never complacent.”
Zendaya herself, along with Hunter Schafer, Sydney Sweeney, and Maude Apatow, spoke about the show at a December 2022 awards panel. Sweeney stressed that her character Cassie was “looking for a family in everyone else,” and that theme was likely to continue in the third season. Apatow said Lexi will be looking to move past her negative thoughts and self-image to create a more positive identity, while Schafer explained that Jules continues to seek love in imperfect, sometimes destructive and dangerous situations. “Each of these characters have their own vice in a way, and I think the product of Jules’ vice that she’s looking for is closeness with other people and feeling affirmed in that closeness without any judgment or real connection and safety in that connection,” she said.
Zendaya said she hoped Rue, who has consistently been through some of the most harrowing situations of any Euphoria character, would be able to find “a little bit of happiness and a little bit of joy.” She also explained that her character is based off of Levinson’s own life, and that he was able to overcome his addictions to find fulfillment. “He’s proof that there is hope for Rue and anyone like Rue.”
It’s unclear how the tragic passing of actor Angus Cloud will affect production, though the loss will clearly change plans for Season 3, and the creative team may not want to rush into production in order to give the cast and crew proper time to grieve. After Cloud’s sudden death in late July, Schafer, Zendaya, and others shared moving words about their friend and peer via social media. (There was a particularly moving post from Apatow, whose character had a burgeoning relationship with Cloud’s Fezco that was a highlight of the second season.)