David Bowie may have made the role his own in the 1975 movie version of Walter Tevis’ complex sci-fi novel, but a new adaptation of The Man Who Fell to Earth is coming to Showtime, with an impressive cast and crew.
Here’s all we know so far about the upcoming series.
When is the release date of The Man Who Fell to Earth?
Production seems to only just be getting underway, so it looks most likely that the show will make its debut in 2022.
What is the plot of The Man Who Fell to Earth?
All we know so far about the upcoming series, in terms of the plot, is the phrase: ‘An alien who arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future.’
But, as the source material is both the 1965 novel and the aforementioned movie, we can speculate on what the story may entail.
The novel follows Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien from the planet Anthea, who quietly lands on Earth disguised as a human and starts to amass large amounts of money by patenting advanced scientific inventions. He uses the income to fund the building of a spaceship, with which he hopes to bring the last 300 Antheans to Earth, after their homeworld has been practically destroyed by nuclear war.
But Newton’s inventions catch the eye of a science professor who suspects they are too advanced for a human to have come up with. The US government is in agreement and despatch the FBI to capture Newton and discover the truth about his identity and motives.
In the 1975 movie that starred David Bowie in the lead role, we again see Newton arrive on Earth and make a fortune through the scientific patents. As the movie was made in the '70s, which marked an era of eco-dystopian sci-fi (Silent Running, No Blade of Grass, Soylent Green, and many other movies and novels), the reason for Newton’s arrival is to acquire water, build his spaceship, then return home to his family on their drought-ridden world. Again, suspicions arise and the people with badges show up once more.
With climate change, global pandemics and charged racial issues all dominating the headlines in recent years, it will be interesting to see what perspective a hyper-intelligent alien creature has when he views the state of our world. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to find out.
Is there a trailer for The Man Who Fell to Earth?
There’s no trailer yet for the new TV show, but if you want a flavour of what it may looks like, then here’s the one for the original 1975 movie that starred the legend himself, David Bowie.
Who are the cast and crew of The Man Who Fell to Earth?
There are some impressive names already attached to the new series, with the role of Newton set to be played by academy award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, The Martian, Dirty Pretty Things).
He’s joined by Naomie Harris (Skyfall, 28 Days Later, Moonlight) who portrays scientist and engineer, Justin Falls, plus Rob Delaney (Catastrophe, The Power, Deadpool 2) as Hatch Flood, a troubled tech socialite. A recent addition to the cast is Jimmi Simpson (Westworld, Perpetual Grace LTD, House of Cards), who takes on the role of CIA agent Spencer Clay, who is obsessed with discovering the truth about Newton.
The showrunners are Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet. Kurtzman, fresh from overseeing the new Star Trek shows that include Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and Star Trek: Lower Decks, is reported to be writing a directing several episodes, but will be sharing overall production duties with Lumet, who has also helmed many of the same Star Trek shows along with the Silence of the Lambs-inspired series Clarice.
Where can I watch The Man Who Fell to Earth?
The series has already moved from Hulu to CBS All Access/Paramount +, but in March 2021 it was announced that the new home would be Showtime. This means US viewers will be able to watch it via the cable network if they have a subscription or on the Showtime Anytime streaming service.