The Weeknd to Bring His Secret Screenplay to Film Co-Starring Jenna Ortega
The Weeknd’s IMDB credits are stacking up. While he was on the road performing his latest albums Dawn FM and After Hours in stadiums last year — and quietly teasing his upcoming HBO series The Idol — the musician born Abel Tesfaye was also sitting on details about his next project: a film co-written by himself and director Trey Edward Shults.
In addition to serving as a writer, the Weeknd will co-produce the currently untitled film and star in it alongside Jenna Ortega and Barry Keoghan. Shooting is already underway in Los Angeles, though details regarding the plot have not yet been revealed.
The film will mark the Weeknd’s first leading role in a feature film, but he won’t be arriving to it without having had some movie experience. Oneohtrix Point Never, who executive produced Dawn FM alongside Tesfaye and Max Martin, will helm the film’s official score. He previously crafted the score for the Safdie Brothers’ movies Uncut Gems — in which the musician made a cameo — and Good Time.
The Weeknd and Shults wrote the film with Reza Fahim, who also worked alongside him while making The Idol with Euphoria creator Sam Levinson. Tesfaye and Fahim will produce the film with Kevin Turen and Harrison Kreiss.
In 2020, The Weeknd told Rolling Stone the tiniest bit about a screenplay he started working on when the After Hours era stalled out due to the pandemic. And by the tiniest bit, we mean he told us that it exists — and not really much else. “I can’t talk about it too much yet,” he said at the time. “I really want it to be official.”
The currently untitled film could be that project finally seeing the light of day, or it could be another one of the many creative tangents Tesfaye has been on in recent years. “I’m trying to find a perfect balance with the film and the music, and so far it’s going really well,” he added. “I think I might have cracked the code.”