The first preview clip from the new David Bowie biopic Stardust, which is set in 1971 and focuses on the events that inspired the rock legend to create his Ziggy Stardust persona, has premiered exclusively on Variety.com.
The film stars Johnny Flynn, an actor and singer-songwriter who appeared in the Netflix series Lovesick and also played a young Albert Einstein in the National Geographic channel series Genius. Stardust’s cast also includes Jena Malone as David’s first wife, Angie Bowie, and Marc Maron as Mercury Records publicist Ron Oberman.
The clip finds Bowie on his first trip to the U.S., where he struggles to gain acceptance from the music business. We see Flynn as Bowie discussing his prospects for making it in the U.S. with Oberman. The young musician laments that his manager had told him that Mercury “had doubts about” his latest album, The Man Who Sold the World.
The publicist tells Bowie that he doesn’t share the label’s doubts, declaring, “I think you’re gonna be the biggest god**** star in America. Seriously man. this is a great record…It’s just no one knows how to sell you in America.”
Stardust was supposed to have premiered this week at New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival, which, of course, has been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the movie will be screened online today for select invitees.
Stardust was directed by British filmmaker Gabriel Range, whose credits include the award-winning 2006 docudrama Death of a President. Range also co-wrote the film with Christopher Bell.
“I set out to make a film about what makes someone become an artist; what actually drives them to make their art,” Range says in a statement. “That someone is David Bowie.”
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(Video contains profanity.)