David Bowie, ‘Life on Mars’ Video
The surprise announcement has come that Johnny Flynn would be starring as David Bowie in the upcoming biopic Stardust – but the project is not without its controversy.
Flynn, a South African born musician and actor living in England, has had starring roles in a string of short-lived television series’, including Brotherhood, Lovesick, Vanity Fair, and Genius, in which he played a young Albert Einstein. And though we’ve not seen the Stardust audition reel, his own music exhibits little stylistic connection to Bowie’s, but rather hews to a more traditional Anglo-Irish folk tradition (to wit, his 2017 single “Raising the Dead”), with a few contemporary flourishes.
But the film, due in 2020, has at least one dissenter, in the person of Duncan Jones – film director and Bowie’s only son – who insists the family has not given their blessing. The filmmakers, in fact, may not actually have the rights to his father’s music.
“Pretty certain nobody has been granted music rights for any biopic,” wrote Jones on Twitter, referring not only to the Salon Pictures / Piccadilly Pictures collaboration, but anyone with designs on similarly producing a Bowie related film.
He continued, “As it stands, this movie won’t have any of dad’s music in it, & I can’t imagine that changing.”
David Bowie, of course, passed away on January 10, 2016, after an extended battle with cancer.