David Bowie isn’t just a global treasure based on his nearly five decades of musical work, but he is also a pretty damn good actor too — he was the original Tilda Swinton, your go-to person when you needed a strangely androgynous and otherworldly British person for any of your films.
He’s played a Goblin King in Labyrinth and an aging 18th century vampire in The Hunger, not to mention cameos as Andy Warhol in Basquiat, a time travelling FBI Agent in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, and a walk-off judge in Zoolander. Probably his most recent notable film role was playing maverick inventor Nikola Tesla in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige.
One of his first starring roles was as an alien in Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 sci-fi movie The Man Who Fell To Earth. That film was about an extraterrestrial who crash lands on Earth seeking a way to ship water to his planet, which is suffering from a severe drought. The movie only received a limited release when it first came out in the seventies, but thanks to home video and cable it’s become a cult film.
Now, Bowie is is co-writing a new version of that same story called Lazarus with Edna Walsh, who won a Tony Award for the stage adaptation of 2007’s Once. The play will also feature new music from Bowie, as well as new versions of older tunes. (“Starman” and “Ziggy Stardust” seem the obvious choices here, but Bowie isn’t one to necessarily do the obvious.)
The original 1976 film didn’t feature any Bowie songs due to contractual obligations, and used music from John Phillips of the Mamas & The Papas instead. Although this new musical iteration is Bowie’s brainchild, it’s said he doesn’t plan to star in it. Hopefully someone out there can help convince him otherwise.
Lazarus is set to open later this year.
HT: The AV Club