A David Bowie film is on the way, and it now has its lead.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Johnny Flynn has been cast as the late music legend David Bowie in an upcoming film titled Stardust.
Actor and musician Flynn is most known for his role in the Netflix series Lovesick and the NatGeo series Genius where he played a young Albert Einstein. In addition, he's just coming off London's West End in a play titled True West where he stars with Kit Harrington.
Stardust will follow the start of Bowie’s musical career after he first came to America in 1971. It was this trip that sparked the creation of Bowie’s alter ego, Ziggy Stardust.
Flynn will also be joined by Jena Malone of The Hunger Games as Bowie's first wife and Marc Maron of Glow who will play his record company publicist.
Stardust will also be directed by Gabriel Range and its script was written by Christopher Bell.
Despite the movie only being in pre-production, there is already some controversy surrounding it. According to Entertainment Weekly, Duncan Jones, Bowie’s son, recently tweeted that Stardust doesn’t have the rights to Bowie’s music or the family’s blessing to tell his story.
In response ot this, UK production company Salon Pictures released the following statement:
“We would like to clarify that this film is not a biopic, it is a moment in time film at a turning point in David’s life, and is not reliant on Bowie’s music. Our original press release did state this. Much like Nowhere Boy for [John] Lennon, Control for Joy Division, the production uses period music and songs that Bowie covered, but not his original tracks. The film was written as an ‘origins story’ about the beginning of David’s journey as he invented his Ziggy Stardust character, and focuses on the character study of the artist, as opposed to a hits driven ‘music’ biopic.”
Producer Paul Van Carter then expressed further to EW, “We’re not using any Bowie music. We always knew that we weren’t going to.”
“We wouldn’t lie about something like that,” he added.
Controversy aside, the film is progressing at a steady pace. Principal photography for Stardust is set to begin in June of this year. Then, the film is expected to release in late 2020, though there is no official date yet.