It’s officially been one year, five months, 27 days and 12.5 hours since the Season 2 finale of “Euphoria” premiered on HBO — but who’s counting?
Since then, few details have emerged about the upcoming third season of the gritty teen drama about a chaotic group of high school students navigating friendships, love, loss and addiction in the fictional town of East Highland, Calif.
The Emmy-winning series was renewed for a third season last February during the show’s hugely popular sophomore run. Created by Sam Levinson, “Euphoria” stars Zendaya as a 17-year-old girl struggling to maintain relationships while drifting in and out of sobriety and grieving the death of her father.
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In honor of ‘Euphoria’ star Angus Cloud, HBO’s streaming service Max has placed in memoriam cards ahead of its premiere episodes.
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“Sam, Zendaya, and the entire cast and crew of ‘Euphoria’ have taken Season 2 to extraordinary heights, challenging narrative convention and form, while maintaining its heart,” said Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of programming at HBO, in a statement tied to the series renewal.
“We couldn’t be more honored to work with this gifted, wildly talented team or more excited to continue our journey with them into Season 3.“
From casting developments to a tentative release date, here’s everything we know about Season 3 so far.
Wait, how did Season 2 end again?
The final two episodes of Season 2 saw Lexi (Maude Apatow) put on a doozy of a school play exposing some her family and friends’ darkest secrets and insecurities.
(You might remember that part thanks to everyone’s favorite “Euphoria” meme of Alexa Demie’s Maddy saying, “Wait, is this f— play about us?”)
In the finale, the play spirals into an onstage brawl after Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) storms the set to confront Lexi, her younger sister. All hell breaks loose when Maddy — still upset that Cassie was hooking up with her ex, Nate (Jacob Elordi), behind her back — starts tussling with Cassie as the audience looks on in shock.
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Watching the rowdy scene unfold from their seats are Rue (Zendaya), Jules (Hunter Schafer) and Elliot (Dominic Fike) — three sides of a messy love triangle that recently got more complicated when Jules and Elliot tried to stage an intervention for Rue.
The only person missing from the audience is Fezco (Angus Cloud), who clearly intended on coming to support and woo his crush, Lexi. Unfortunately, Fez never makes it to the show after his adopted little brother, Ashtray (Javon Walton), is killed in a SWAT raid gone horribly wrong.
The intense and emotional finale ends with a newly sober Rue walking pensively out of the school auditorium, seemingly leaving the play and all the drama that preceded it behind her.
What’s gonna happen in Season 3?
Not much is known about the plot of Season 3, though Levinson recently described the next chapter of “Euphoria” as a “film noir” in an interview with Elle.
He also revealed that Zendaya’s character will serve as a vehicle to “explore what it means to be an individual with principles in a corrupt world.”
The main cast of “Euphoria” features Zendaya, Schafer, Apatow, Fike, Elordi, Demie, Sweeney, Walton, Cloud, Barbie Ferreira, Algee Smith, Austin Abrams, Storm Reid, Nika King and Eric Dane. Most — but not all — of those series regulars are expected to return next season.
Last summer, Ferreira said a “very teary eyed goodbye” to her character, Kat, after her role was noticeably reduced in Season 2. The actor later explained her decision to leave the show on the “Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard” podcast.
“My character, who I love dearly, I don’t think there was a place for her to go,” she said. “I really wanted to be able to not be the fat best friend.”
“I just felt like maybe I had overstayed my welcome a little bit,” she added. “I [knew] that what would happen would be something that wouldn’t fit into the show — it wouldn’t do her justice, so might as well leave on a high, do my own thing.”
Barbie Ferreira on why she left ‘Euphoria’ and not wanting to be ‘the fat best friend’
Barbie Ferreira talks about leaving the HBO Max series “Euphoria” and not wanting to be “the fat best friend.”
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Ferreira won’t be the only cast member absent from Season 3.
Walton will likely receive little — if any — screen time due to the death of his character, Ashtray. And Cloud, who died last month at age 25, will not be reprising the role of Fezco.
Shortly after Cloud’s death, HBO paid tribute to the actor by attaching in memoriam cards to the first episodes of Seasons 1 and 2 on the Warner Bros. Discovery streaming service, Max.
Angus Cloud, ‘Euphoria’ star, dies at 25
Angus Cloud, who portrayed drug dealer Fez in HBO’s ‘Euphoria,’ has died. He was 25.
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“We are incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of Angus Cloud,” an HBO spokesperson said in a statement to The Times.
“He was immensely talented and a beloved part of the HBO and Euphoria family. We extend our deepest condolences to his friends and family during this difficult time.”
It’s unclear how the absences of Kat and Fezco will be explained in Season 3.
What about Zendaya?
Zendaya is slated to return as the series lead — and as an executive producer — in Season 3.
After winning back-to-back Emmy Awards for her empathetic portrayal of Rue, the 26-year-old superstar struck a new deal with HBO that will make her one of the highest-paid actors on TV by the time “Euphoria” comes back on the air.
Her projected Season 3 salary? About $1 million per episode.
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Zendaya has a new contract with HBO for Season 3 of ‘Euphoria,’ and the star is set to earn $1 million per episode for her portrayal of Rue Bennett.
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“My greatest wish for Euphoria was that it could help heal people,” Zendaya said, while accepting her second Emmy in 2022.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone who has shared their story with me. I want you to know that anyone who has loved a Rue or feels like they are a Rue, I want you to know I’m so grateful for your stories, and I carry them with me, and I carry them with her.”
When is Season 3 coming out?
Season 3 is expected to land sometime in 2025, according to Orsi.
So ... are we gonna talk about the elephant in the room?
Production on Season 3 of “Euphoria” has not begun and likely won’t commence any time soon due to the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.
The release date for another highly anticipated Zendaya project, “Challengers,” has already been pushed to 2024 as writers and actors continue to fight the major studios for more money, benefits and protections.
Times staff writers Nardine Saad and Alexandra Del Rosario contributed to this report.