David Bowie‘s presence is going to be felt in a big way this fall on Fox.
The network’s new drama Lucifer is based on the character created by Neil Gaiman in the DC/Vertigo comic series The Sandman, and developed more later by writer Mike Carey in his long-running spinoff series named after the character. But what isn’t widely known is the fact that the character of Lucifer (played by Tom Ellis in the new series) is actually based on the real-life public persona of Bowie, who passed away earlier this week.
“David Bowie was what the original character was based on, the sketches and stuff that was in the graphic novel,” Ellis said at the 2016 TCA Winter Press Tour. “What we did do is take some of Bowie’s music and infused it into the pilot. Lucifer is a massive David Bowie fan. Music is a massive part of the show. It was a big thing in the pilot script and it’s something we’re trying to continue for the series. Lucifer’s taste in music is a big thing. He’s a big appreciator of music.”
But as executive producer Jonathan Littman explained, they didn’t want to straight-up mimic the late, great icon.
“Because of the way he was so explicitly drawn, unless we could get David Bowie, it’s probably better not to try and mimic David Bowie,” Littman said. “We felt like taking this fresh casting chance.”
Executive producer Joe Henderson added, “We found a different way to encapsulate that effortless cool that was David Bowie.”
Something that all the showrunners were excited about is how Lucifer is a procedural, but not in the way that people might be used to on a Fox show. Yes, Lucifer works with LAPD Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) on her cases, but for a unique purpose.
“Lucifer is fascinated by the crimes, why people choose to do evil and deception,” executive producer Len Wiseman said. “He loves it and gets off on it. It’s a study for him where he wants to see why humans are doing what they’re doing. If they get put in prison, he doesn’t care. He just wants to see them get punished.”
And don’t expect Lucifer to be the pure embodiment of evil. The show is going to explore who he really is deep down, not just what his job used to be, as the leader of Hell.
“We take our cues from the comic book character,” Henderson said. “The devil is the fallen son of God. He’s not evil. He’s just the rebellious son. He’s mischievous, he’s playful, but he’s also honest and he embraces his desires. Lucifer is all about exploring humanity and exploring desires. There’s no pretense. There’s nothing evil about him. Sometimes, the truth really shall set you free.”
Ellis explained that the main question of the show is whether Lucifer is the devil because he’s intrinsically evil or because God decided he was.
“He just wants to be loved at the end of the day,” executive producer Ildy Modrovich said. “He’s the eternal teenager.”
What do you think of Fox’s interpretation of the devil? Will you watch Lucifer when it premieres? Let us know in the comments section.
Lucifer premieres Monday, January 25 at 9 p.m. on Fox.