Following the announcement Johnny Flynn will star as a young David Bowie in a film titled Stardust, Bowie’s son Duncan Jones has called out the movie claiming the film has not been given music rights and has not been approved by the family.
Stardust will follow a young Bowie as he journeys to 1970s America in an adventure that would inspire his alter-ego Ziggy Stardust. The film’s soundtrack will feature songs from the era and Bowie covers.
In response to a tweet, which asked for Duncan’s reaction to the film news, the filmmaker replied: “I think this journalist needs to do some investigative reporting. Pretty certain nobody has been granted music rights for ANY biopic… I would know.”
“I’m not saying this movie is not happening,” he continued in a second tweet. “I honestly wouldn’t know. I’m saying that as it stands, this movie won’t have any of dad’s music in it, & 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.”
Im not saying this movie is not happening. I honestly wouldn’t know.
Im saying that as it stands, this movie won’t have any of dads music in it, & I can’t imagine that changing. If you want to see a biopic without his music or the families blessing, thats up to the audience.
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) January 31, 2019
As you can imagine, having the son of your film subject rip into your film is not great publicity so in a statement to Entertainment Weekly, producers of Stardust went into full damage control by making it clear that Stardust is not a proper biopic.
“We would like to clarify that this film is not a biopic, it is a moment in time film at a turning point in David’s life, and is not reliant on Bowie’s music. Our original press release did state this. Much like Nowhere Boy for [John] Lennon, Control for Joy Division, the production uses period music and songs that Bowie covered, but not his original tracks. The film was written as an ‘origins story’ about the beginning of David’s journey as he invented his Ziggy Stardust character, and focuses on the character study of the artist, as opposed to a hits driven ‘music’ biopic.”
Producer Paul Van Carter told EW this film is not a “big-budget musical biopic like Bohemian Rhapsody” but “a very sensitive one, an homage one, about a very unique moment in his life.”