Sam Levinson Says ‘Euphoria’ Season 3 Will Focus on Zendaya

Little is known about Euphoria season 3 — but creator Sam Levinson has offered a glimpse into what lies ahead for the HBO hit. 

In Elle’s September cover story on Zendaya, which was published on Wednesday, August 23, Levinson, 38, teased that he views the next chapter of the series as a “film noir” that explores “what it means to be an individual with principles in a corrupt world” through the eyes of Zendaya’s character, Rue. 

Euphoria’s third season renewal was announced by HBO three weeks prior to the season 2 finale, which aired in February 2022. While the series was set to begin shooting this fall, the ongoing Hollywood strikes have put production on hold. 

The teen drama, which often pushes the envelope with its graphic storytelling, has become a critical darling since its 2019 premiere. It ranked as HBO’s second-most watched show of all time behind Game of Thrones — averaging more than 16 million viewers — during its second season and has received various award nominations. 

‘Euphoria’ Season 3: Everything to Know So Far

In 2020, Zendaya, 26, became the youngest actress to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She also took home a Critics Choice award and a Golden Globe in 2023. 

“She’s the most competitive person I know, in a good way,” Levinson told Elle of his leading lady. “She’s constantly growing as an artist and always seeking a challenge. She’s never complacent.”

The end of season 2 saw Rue once again off drugs and looking to rekindle her friendship with Lexi (Maude Apatow). Elsewhere, cops raided Fezco (Angus Cloud) and Ashtray’s (Javon Walton) home, Nate (Jacob Elordi) turned his dad over to police, and Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) and Maddy (Alexa Demie) faced the fallout from their friendship following their love triangle with Nate. 

As for where else the story will go in season 3, Euphoria costume designer Heidi Bivens previously hinted at a time jump for the characters. “I’m really excited to read the scripts,” she told Vogue earlier this year. “There is talk of it being approximately five years in the future, and that they’re not in high school anymore.”

Aging Rue out of her teen years is something Zendaya can likely get behind. “From a character perspective, I want to find things that will push me,” she told Elle. “As I get older, you know, I can’t play a teenager for the rest of my life.”

Jumping ahead to the future, however, is just one of many changes the series will have to explain when it returns. Barbie Ferreira, who portrays Kat Hernandez, announced her surprise exit from the show in August 2022. 

“After four years of getting to embody the most special and enigmatic character Kat, I’m having to say a very teary-eyed goodbye,” Ferreira, 25, wrote via her Instagram Story at the time. “I hope many of you see yourself in her like I did and that she brought you joy to see her journey into the character she is today. I put all my care and love into her and I hope you guys could feel it.”

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The show will also need to address the tragic loss of Angus Cloud, who died in July at the age of 25. How the show plans to approach the character of Fez has yet to be revealed, but Max added a tribute to the actor ahead of the season 1 and season 2 premiere episodes following his death. 

“In memory of Angus Cloud 1998-2023,” a message reads before the episodes begin. The tribute also features a black-and-white photo of Cloud before a viewer discretion warning for the show’s content. 

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