Exclusive: ‘Euphoria’ Season 2 Adding Kelvin Harrison Jr. from ‘Luce’ and ‘Waves’

     April 14, 2020

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Kelvin Harrison Jr., the rising star of last year’s acclaimed indie films Luce and Waves, is in talks to join the cast of HBO’s Euphoria next season, Collider has exclusively learned.

Of course, when it comes to casting matters, it all comes down to scheduling, and given the current pandemic that has halted production around the world, it’s unclear when the second season of Euphoria will go before cameras. Scheduling is especially tricky in this case, as Zendaya had been expected to start shooting the second season of Euphoria this spring while her Spider-Man co-star Tom Holland filmed the Uncharted movie for Sony. Both stars would have then segued into a planned summer shoot for Spider-Man 3.

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Image via HBO

While it remains unclear at this point when production will resume worldwide, industry sources are preparing to return to work this summer, as evidenced by Disney moving Mulan to late July, and Variety reporting late last month that Doctor Strange 2 remains on track for a summer start. Supposing that film and television production resumes this July, it’s unclear whether the entire Hollywood schedule will shift 3-4 months to accommodate suspended or cancelled productions, or whether summer shoots will hold firm, forcing the industry’s spring projects to wait until the fall or later to begin shooting.

Collider was unable to ascertain whether Spider-Man 3 or Euphoria is in first position for Zendaya, but suffice to say, one is a global blockbuster, and one is a (highly enjoyable) teen soap opera. Thus, the thinking is that Euphoria producers will shoot what they can without Zendaya, or wait for her to wrap Spider-Man altogether in order to keep that mega-production on track for its July 16, 2021 release. Either scenario will likely mean a significant delay for the second season of Euphoria. The only recourse the show may have is for Sony to decide to push Spider-Man 3 and move forward with Uncharted while Mark Wahlberg is still interested — his schedule permitting — which would allow Euphoria to start shooting as soon as Hollywood production resumes.

What does all this mean for Harrison, who has yet to formally sign on the dotted line for Euphoria, given the fact that all of Hollywood is self-quarantining at the moment? With Euphoria production dates still up in the air, I suppose it means that if Harrison is offered a giant movie, he still has some wiggle room to back out of the HBO show. Sources said that Harrison is expected to join the Euphoria cast, but anything could happen, since there are no guarantees right now when it comes to when Hollywood will resume production.

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Image via A24

Regardless of what ultimately happens, I don’t have any details on the role Harrison is expected to play, or whether he’ll be positioned as a new romantic interest for Zendaya’s character. HBO declined to comment on his casting, and Harrison’s representatives did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Harrison got his start on the big screen in the historical dramas 12 Years a Slave and The Birth of a Nation before landing a breakout role in It Comes at Night. He followed that with turns in the acclaimed awards contender Mudbound as well as the buzzy festival films Assassination Nation and Monsters and Men, the latter of which brought the first real glimpse of his dramatic potential. From there, Harrison’s career has taken off thanks to back-to-back star turns in Luce and Waves, the latter of which was produced by Euphoria producer Kevin Turen.

Harrison recently starred in Universal’s The Photograph and the indie movie The Wolf Hour, and he’ll soon be seen opposite Dakota Johnson in Focus’ romantic drama The High Note, as well as in Aaron Sorkin‘s highly anticipated courtroom drama Trial of the Chicago 7. He’s represented by WME, Stride Management and attorney Nina Shaw.

For more on season two of Euphoria, click here for our interview with Storm Reid, who plays Zendaya’s younger sister.

Television