HBO Casts Zendaya, 11 More in Kids-Meets-Trainspotting Series 'Euphoria'

Credit: Kathy Hutchins /

Spider-Man: Homecoming's Zendaya has found Euphoria at HBO, cast as the lead in the cable network's upcoming adaptation of the Israeli series of the same name. Written by Sam Levinson with a pilot directed by Augustine Frizzell, the project is described as the story of drugs, sex, identity, trauma, social media, love and friendship all told by a lying, drug-addicted 17-year-old girl named Rue (Zendaya).

Zendaya didn't come to this announcement alone, however. HBO is also moving forward with a cast that includes Maude Apatow as Lexi, Brian "Astro" Bradley as McKay, Angus Cloud as Fezco, Eric Dane as Cal, Alexa Demie as Maddy, Jacob Elordi as Nate, Barbie Ferreira as Kat, Nika King as Leslie, Storm Reid as Gia, Hunter Schafer as Jules, and Sydney Sweeney as Cassie.

Euphoria is a new ten-part drama series for adults written by Ron Leshem and directed by Dafna Levin, to air on HOT3 at the end of November.

Seventeen is the new thirty. Forty is the new twenty five. Parenthood is dead, and city life was not meant for teenagers. Euphoria portrays a sexy, troubling, and bold profile of the teens of the nineties, within a raging drama going on behind teenagers' closed doors. In a visual cinematic dialogue reminiscent of "Elephant" or "Kids", whirling with dialogues like those in "Trainspotting", Euphoria presents the impossibilities of age, through tumultuous love stories and suspense. The series' protagonists live in internet fantasies, drug-induced hallucinations, masturbatory illusions, schizophrenic and traumatic disorders, narcissistic dreams – in fact, they live everywhere except reality. Reality has already been done and is boring, and faced with real life, they are unripe fruit that has already fallen to the ground. Lost and hurt, vulnerable and thrill-seeking, they become a community in a city of lonely individuals. Together, they seek euphoria, and are thrown from euphoria to paranoia. An innocent youth escapes a jeep that chases him down in front of a night-club. It's a manhunt. The wounded boy falls to the ground. He manages to plead "it wasn't me" before the driver, also a youth, picks him up and stabs him to death. The series protagonists were all there that night, unacquainted to each other.

Euphoria stars Dekel Adin, Roni Dloumi, Maor Sweitzer, Dolev Masika, Amit Erez, Avi Mazliach, and Uriel Gette.

Best known for her starring role in the Disney Channel series KC Undercover, Zendaya has also starred in Spider-Man: Homecoming and The Greatest Showman. This September, the actress can be seen playing Meechee in the Warner Brothers animated film Smallfoot.

Leshem, Levin, Yardeni, and Levinson will serve as executive producers on HBO's adaptation; alongside Ravi Nandan, Kevin Turen, Hadas Mozes Lichtenstein, Mirit Toovi, Yoram Mokadi, and Gary Lennon. Frizzell will co-executive produce; with A24 handling production duties.


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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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