Chiwetel Ejiofor is set to take on the lead role in a new series based on The Man Who Fell To Earth.
The original cult 1976 sci-fi film, directed by Nicholas Roeg, follows an alien (David Bowie) called Thomas Jerome Newton who poses as a human on Earth and tries to save his home planet – and is itself based on a 1963 novel by Walter Tevis.
The new series will stream on Paramount+, with the Oscar-nominated 12 Years a Slave actor tapped to play the lead extraterrestrial role, a new and different character from that made famous by Bowie.
Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek) and Jenny Lumet (The Mummy) will serve as co-showrunners, co-writing and executive producing The Man Who Fell To Earth, and expressed excitement at having Ejiofor involved.
“Chiwetel Ejiofor’s stage and film career are staggering in their bravery, commitment and quality,” they said (via Deadline). “He’s everything we could imagine and a million things we can’t. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”
The new Man Who Fell To Earth series was first announced back in 2019, with Kurtzman and Lumet saying at the time that the show will explore “the next chapter” in the story.
“Some strings will connect to both the novel and the film but if you haven’t seen the film or haven’t read the novel, it’s fine,” Kurtzman said. “You’ll get to have an experience that’s entirely singular. If you have, you’ll have the benefit of understanding the history of the world that both of those things set up.”
“We loved the emotional moments in the book and we loved the visual spectacle of the movie,” Lumet added. “We’re taking it forward.”
“It should be called the Ron Oberman Whingeing and Whining story,” she said, adding: “It was boring. I didn’t find it entertaining at all. It’s more dreary than a one-star documentary. It was too neutral and bland and without the music, there is nothing.”