Showtime offers the next step to the universe of The Man Who Fell To Earth with its upcoming series of the same name starring Chiwetel Ejofor and Naomie Harris. While not a remake Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 film starring David Bowie series, executive producer, writer and director Alex Kurtzman said the series seeks to pay tribute to previous forms of the sci-fi story.
“I think it’s amazing and it’s beautiful that Walter Teviis is having is moment right now. I wish he had more of it when he was alive so he could appreciate how much people appreciate his work,” Kurtman said of the novelist, who also penned The Queen’s Gambit. I think we felt a tremendous debt to honor the legacy of David Bowie, of Walter Tevis and Nicolas Roeg – of all the people who built these extraordinary stories because they clearly wrenched their hearts open to tell them. We felt like the only way to do this authentically and honestly is to do the same.”
Co-written and executive produced by Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, The Man Who Fell To Earth follows a new alien character, played by Ejiofor, who arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future.
During the panel, Ejiofor spoke about how he’s tapping into his own personal experiences to play an Earth-bound alien for the television adaptation of Tevis’ story.
“You have to rely on the ways you’ve interacted with people, the way you’ve felt like an outsider, the way you’ve tried to belong…you have to bring that to playing the part to try to understand it,” he said. “Inevitably, that kind of throws up this contemplation of your own journey, about your own personality.”
Ejiofor’s alien Faraday may take center stage in the Showtime series, but The Man Who Fell to Earth will also feature a familiar character. Filling the shoes of David Bowie’s Thomas Newton will be Bill Nighy. During the panel Kurtzman also spoke about bringing on the Love Actually alum, noting “you need a legend to step into the shoes of a legend.”
The panelists, which also included star Naomie Harris, EPs and writers Jenny Lumet and John Hlavin, also touched on Martha Plimpton’s brief appearance, featuring two Black actors in leading roles and more. The Man Who Fell To Earth, which will premiere on April 24, also features Jimmi Simpson, Rob Delaney, Sonya Cassidy, Joana Ribeiro, Annelle Olaleye, Kate Mulgrew and Clarke Peters.
Showtime also dropped the trailer for the sci-fi series on Tuesday, watch it above.
Kurtzman and Lumet are writing and executive producing the series and will serve as showrunners alongside Hlavin. Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Heather Kadin are also executive producing alongside Aaron Baiers, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Studiocanal’s Rola Bauer and Françoise Guyonnet. It is produced by CBS Studios in association with Secret Hideout and Timberman/Beverly. Studiocanal owns the rights to Tevis’ book and the Nicolas Roeg film.
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