“Euphoria” season 3 will star 'same core cast' out of high school, says HBO exec

HBO and Max CEO Casey Bloys added that Sam Levinson is "busy writing" the new season now.

Euphoria is returning to HBO, but not to East Highland High School.

On Tuesday, HBO boss Casey Bloys confirmed to Variety that the highly-anticipated third season will mark the return of the "same core cast," but pickup after a time jump takes the young characters out of high school.

As for the current status of the season? "[Creator and writer] Sam [Levinson] is working on it,” Bloys told the outlet. “There’s been a lot of back and forth.”

Across its initial two seasons, Euphoria has been a gritty high school drama about a spiraling teen addict and her equally messy classmates. With a stacked cast of rising stars — including Zendaya, Sydney Sweeney, Jacob Elordi, Hunter Schafer, Storm Reid, Alexa Demie — the show has navigated issues of domestic violence, drug use, and even human trafficking. All the while, the trappings of high school have persisted, with love triangles and teen angst playing significantly into the story.

HBO Zendaya and Hunter Schafer in 'Euphoria'
HBO Zendaya and Hunter Schafer in 'Euphoria'

Related: Euphoria star Nika King jokes she hasn't 'paid my rent in 6 months' amid season 3 delays

Bloys noted that Levinson’s plan to pickup after a time jump is one of the primary “issues” at hand. “When you take it out of [high school], there’s a lot of back and forth about where to set it and how far in the future to set it and all that stuff,” he explained. “But I think he’s got a take that he’s excited about, and he’s busy writing.”

Representatives for HBO did not immediately respond to Entertainment Weekly’s request for comment.

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While Bloys did not explicitly state which cast members would return for season 3, at least two absences are set in stone. Barbie Ferreira announced a "teary-eyed goodbye" to her character Kat Hernandez following the season 2 finale and the show must also grapple with the unexpected death of Angus Cloud, who played the sensitive drug dealer Fezco, and died of an accidental overdose in July 2023.

Euphoria’s second season came to a close in Feb. 2022 after an excruciating climax that saw Zendaya’s Rue hitting rock bottom after an emotionally draining relapse. An elongated hiatus followed, with Bloys noting in November that the delayed premiere date was heavily impacted by 2023’s joint actors' and writers' strikes. Writing on the series was said to have resumed when the writers' strike came to a close on Sept. 27 (after 148 days).

Eddy Chen/HBO Max Sydney Sweeney and Jacob Elordi on 'Euphoria'
Eddy Chen/HBO Max Sydney Sweeney and Jacob Elordi on 'Euphoria'

Related: Sydney Sweeney breaks down that infamous Euphoria puking scene

Several Euphoria cast members indicated they were in the dark about when the series would return, leading the rumor mill to speculate that the show had been canceled. In March, HBO shut down the gossip by reiterating that it had plans for a third season. "In the interim, we are allowing our in-demand cast to pursue other opportunities," a spokesperson told EW.

Chloe Cherry — who played recurring character Faye in the show’s second season — recently told the Daily Mail that she has no idea if she will be involved in the show’s future. "No one talks to me. They really don't talk to me," she said. "I would definitely go back, but they just leave me in the dark, let's just say that."

That sentiment has been echoed by others, including the show’s star Zendaya, who said in April that she is open to reprising her role of Rue, but unaware of when that would happen.

"If it's right for the characters and everything turns out the way it should, of course," she told Variety. "But it's beyond me."

Meanwhile, Elordi joked that his time to play a young Nate Jacobs is running out. "I hope it's soon, or they're going to have to Benjamin Button me or something,” he said on The Tonight Show. "I'm going to have a bad back walking down the hallway, you know?"

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