Bill Nighy cast as lead in David Bowie’s ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’ reboot

He joins Chiwetel Ejiofor, Naomie Harris and Rob Delaney

Bill Nighy has been cast as the lead role in the forthcoming TV reboot of David Bowie‘s The Man Who Fell To Earth.

The classic sci-fi movie, based on Walter Tevis’ 1963 novel of the same name, marked one of Bowie’s most memorable roles, as Thomas Jerome Newton – an alien posing as a human in an attempt to save his home planet.

Nighy joins Chiwetel Ejiofor, Naomie Harris and Rob Delaney who were all previously announced for the Showtime series.


“I was honoured to be invited to play the part of Thomas Jerome Newton that glorious David Bowie made so famous,” said Nighy in a statement to Deadline.

“I was keen to work with Chiwetel and Naomie again. I think the story is terrific and brilliantly expressed. I am an enthusiast for shows which extrapolate from current technology and give us plausible glimpses of a possible near future. It’s an important story which, as well as being highly entertaining, discusses the crucial issues of our time. I like to think that the film makers of the original film would applaud Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet for their imaginative daring and loyal regard.”

Chiwetel Ejiofor CREDIT: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

According to a synopsis, Ejiofor will play a new alien character who arrives on Earth at a “turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future”.

“Alone and desperate, Newton summons Faraday (Ejiofor) to complete his original mission, but Newton’s time marooned among human beings has cost him everything, possibly even his sanity.”

The TV adaptation was first announced in 2019 with showrunners Alex Kurtzman who has previously worked on Star Trek and Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married), confirming that the series will explore “the next chapter” of the story from the novel and film.


Commenting on the forthcoming series recently, NME writer Matt Charlton said the makers should “tread carefully around Bowie’s legacy”.

Meanwhile, Titan Comics recently announced a graphic novel adaptation of the 1976 film.