Chiwetel Ejiofor to Star in TV Adaptation of 'The Man Who Fell To Earth'

Chiwetel Ejiofor in "The Old Guard" (Photo: Netflix)

Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor has been tapped to star in a television adaptation of The Man Who Fell to Earth, though he will play a different alien the character made famous by David Bowie in the 1976 feature film.

Showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet will helm the project for streaming platform Paramount+ (formerly known as CBS All Access), which will be based on the original 1963 novel by The Queen's Gambit author Walter Tevis. The story will apparently serve as something of a sequel to the movie of the same name, document the experience of an alien (Ejiofor) who lands on Earth and is confronted with a turning point in human evolution.

In the film version, Bowie played Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien stranded on Earth who then falls into despair and alcoholism. It was the iconic rocker's first movie role and has passed into cult classic territory. (Thanks in no large part to Bowie's rather iconic appearance, all angles and bright red hair.)

"Chiwetel Ejiofor's stage and film career are staggering in their bravery, commitment, and quality," Kurtzman and Lumet said in a statement. "He's everything we could imagine and a million things we can't. We couldn't be more thrilled."

Ejiofor was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2014 for his performance in the film 12 Years a Slave. Other recent work includes Netflix film The Old Guard, HBO Max quarantine drama Locked Down, and Marvel's upcoming sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, in which he will reprise his role as Mordo. 

No official word yet on when we might expect to see this new The Man Who Fell to Earth, nor who else might be part of its cast. But, in a world filled to the brim with reboots and revivals, this one at least sounds like something fresh. So let's keep an eye out. 

What do you think of the idea of a Man Who Fell to Earth series? Let's discuss in the comments. 

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Twitter at @LacyMB

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