Johnny Flynn to Play Young David Bowie in ‘Stardust’ — But Bowie’s Son Threatens to Stop the Whole Thing
A classic case of good news/bad news. In terms of the former, it’s been announced that there’s going to be a biopic called Stardust, which is going to look at the late David Bowie back when he visited the United States for the first time. On top of that, actor Johnny Flynn (who starred in the film Beast and is currently at London’s Vaudeville Theatre in Sam Shepard‘s True West) has been cast in the role of the singer. Pretty cool, right? But then there’s the response to the news from Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones, who’s none too pleased about the whole thing.
Duncan, who works as a director, offered up a couple of tweets about the film and made one point clear that could conceivably have the effect of torpedoing Stardust: “Pretty certain nobody has been granted music rights for any biopic … I would know. I’m not saying this movie is not happening. I honestly wouldn’t know. I’m saying that as it stands, this movie won’t have any of dad’s music in it and I can’t imagine that changing. If you want to see a biopic without his music or the family’s blessing, that’s up to the audience.” It kind of sounds like Stardust is in trouble … at least until somebody contacts Duncan and begins the negotiation process.
Given the success of the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, it’s no surprise that everyone is now looking for their own musical project to produce. So far we know there’s going to be Rocketman, about the early days of Elton John with Taron Egerton (Kingsman, Eddie the Eagle) in the title role; and The Power of Love, which is inspired by the life and career of Celine Dion, though it’s been described as a fictionalized version of both with Valerie Lemercier (who is also going to serve as director) playing the lead character, who likely won’t be named Celine.
Presuming things get worked out with Duncan — and it doesn’t seem likely that the film can go forward without Bowie’s music — Stardust is expected to begin production this June.