Thursday, May 23, 2024

Zendaya Seeking Style Switch for Rue in Euphoria Season 3 After Dune Success

HomeEntertainmentZendaya Seeking Style Switch for Rue in Euphoria Season 3 After Dune...

Just when you thought Euphoria’s Rue couldn’t get any more provocative, Zendaya is reportedly aiming to take the troubled teen’s story into completely uncharted territory for Season 3 – but her edgy idea has thrown the HBO series into chaos.

The 26-year-old Emmy winner, fresh off worldwide acclaim for her fierce performance in last year’s sci-fi epic Dune: Part Two, has been pushing for a jaw-dropping new direction for her character Rue, according to an eye-opening report in Variety this week. Only it’s not the dark, gritty content we’ve come to expect from Sam Levinson’s unflinching teen drama.

No, Zendaya allegedly pitched that Rue, having finally gotten sober from her years-long drug addiction struggles, should…become a surrogate mother helping others start families in Season 3! Talk about an unexpected plot twist.

The suggestion understandably raised some eyebrows behind the scenes, with sources telling Variety that Euphoria’s creative team rejected Zendaya’s offbeat idea as a tonal misfit for the famously explicit series exploring disturbing issues like substance abuse, sexual violence and mental illness.

Is Zendaya Going Off the Deep End?

Still, you can’t fault Z for shooting for the moon – or should we say, the spice planets of Arrakis? Her standout turn as the mysterious Fremen warrior Chani in Denis Villeneuve’s critically-acclaimed Dune sequel seems to have sparked a newfound boldness and confidence in the former Disney teen queen.

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In fact, Villeneuve himself recently gushed about Zendaya’s directorial potential, saying he “would not be surprised if one day we learn she wants to go behind the camera” based on her leadership presence on set. The filmmaker praised her keen visual eye and ability to immerse herself fully in complex source material like Frank Herbert’s dense sci-fi literary classic that inspired Dune.

Could this surrogate storyline idea have been Zendaya’s first attempt at taking more creative control and putting her own distinctive storytelling stamp on Rue – a character she’s made iconic through two transcendent seasons of Euphoria?

While the offbeat pitch may have misfired for now, HBO would be wise to consider giving the multihyphenate actor-producer more input. After all, she’s skyrocketed from a former child star on shows like Shake It Up to one of Hollywood’s most critically-acclaimed and in-demand talents across TV, film and fashion.

Euphoric Chaos Behind the Scenes?

Of course, the apparent clash over creative visions could also speak to long-simmering tensions on the set of Euphoria as its stars have achieved new levels of fame and influence.

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The series was already pushed back from its expected late 2024 return to accommodate scheduling conflicts with its now red-hot ensemble cast booking major films and other high-profile projects. Sydney Sweeney, Jacob Elordi and Storm Reid – who earned raves for The Last of Us this year – have been in particularly high demand following their star-making turns.

Then tragedy struck last summer when beloved newcomer Angus Cloud, who portrayed fan favorite drug dealer Fezco, shockingly passed away at just 25 years old from an apparent accidental overdose. The devastating loss deeply impacted the Euphoria team and forced a grieving period and re-write of scripts.

So it’s understandable if tensions are running high amidst the uncertainty over when and how Euphoria will return for its third chapter – now expected to take a major time jump ahead roughly five years.

Perhaps that’s why Zendaya is feeling emboldened to advocate for shaking up Rue’s character arc in an unexpected way as the pressures mount. Her recent blockbuster success outside of just Euphoria seems to have her swinging for the fences creatively and aiming for new storytelling dimensions beyond the familiar grounds of teenage trauma, family turmoil and drugs.

A Euphoric Future for Zendaya?

Of course, this could all simply be the latest savvy course-correction by an actress who has adroitly steered her own career from her salad days on the Disney Channel to the very top of the A-list with a unique ability to remain edgy yet immensely likable and culturally relevant.

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Whatever her motivations, you can be sure all eyes in Hollywood will be locked on Zendaya and how her creative tug-of-war with Euphoria’s team plays out. Because if she did indeed want Rue to go from hooking and copping on the street to playing biological rent-a-womb, that would arguably bethe most shocking, out-of-the-box twist Euphoria has delivered yet.

And just when you thought the show had already gone about as edgy and raunchy as humanly possible…leave it to Z to dream up a way to take her troubled, fan-favorite heroine’s story to even more uncharted realms of OMG-worthy perpexity.

Whether the surrogate storyline comes to fruition or not, one thing is clear: Like her or not, Zendaya simply refuses to be boxed in or play by anyone’s rules except her own. And if this rising boldness and edge keep earning her accolades and box office receipts, you can expect to see even more surprises from her going forward.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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