Chiwetel Ejiofor (Locked Down) will star in Paramount+ series The Man Who Fell to Earth, as reported by Deadline. The series is based on the 1976 cult classic film starring David Bowie (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me) and the original novel written by Walter Tevis (The Hustler).
Bowie made his film debut in a starring role when The Man Who Fell to Earth debuted in 1976, shocking and confounding audiences with its abstract and dreamlike imagery. Directed by Nicolas Roeg (The Witches), the movie follows an alien, portrayed by Bowie, who crashes down into earth on a mission to secure water for his drought ridden planet. The film was based on the science fiction novel of the same name published by Tevis in 1963. Tevis’s other notable works include The Queen’s Gambit, which was adapted into the Netflix original series this past year starring Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma).
Watch Bowie in the the original 1976 trailer for The Man Who Fell to Earth below:
Ejiofor will now play the alien who falls to earth. In the television version, he will arrive on earth at a crucial point in human evolution and must deal with his past in order to ensure earth’s future, according to Deadline. Alex Kurtzman (The Mummy) and Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married) are the co-showrunners, writers and executive producers of the series. Kurtzman is also set to direct.
Regarding the casting announcement of Ejiofor, Kurttzman and Lumet released a joint statement picked up by Deadline: “Chiwetel Ejiofor’s stage and film career are staggering in their bravery, commitment and quality. He’s everything we could imagine and a million things we can’t. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Ejiofor is best known for his Oscar nominated performance as Solomon Northup in the 2013 Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave. He’s also known for his work in Dirty Pretty Things, Love Actually, Children of Men, and Doctor Strange. He can most recently be seen in the 2021 HBO Max original film Locked Down starring opposite Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada).
Along with Kurtzman and Lumet, The Man Who Fell to Earth is executive produced by John Hlavin (Shooter), Carl Beverly (Unbelievable), Heather Kadin (Star Trek: Discovery), Rola Bauer (The Pillars of the Earth), Tim Halkin (Shadowplay), and Sarah Timberman (Elementary) with Aaron Baiers (The Comey Rule) serving as co-executive producer. CBS Studios and Tandem Productions will co-produce the series.