Actor/musician Johnny Flynn ("Beast," "Genius") has been cast to play a young David Bowie in the upcoming film "Stardust," about the rock icon's first visit to the U.S. in 1971.
Just one hitch: Bowie's son, director Duncan Jones (whose films include"Moon"), isn't on board at all. He tweeted, "As it stands, this movie won’t have any of dad's music in it, & I can’t imagine that changing."
According to the producers, the project won't involve any Bowie songs, so the approval or disapproval of Bowie's family wouldn't necessarily derail it. In a statement they said the film is not a biopic like "Bohemian Rhapsody."
"It is a moment in time film at a turning point in David’s life, and is not reliant on Bowie’s music," read the statement. "Much like 'Nowhere Boy' for [John] Lennon, or 'Control' for Joy Division, the production uses period music and songs that Bowie covered, but not his original tracks."
[Worth noting: The excellent and underseen "Control," in which Sam Riley played Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis, featured the band's music extensively. The recent Jimi Hendrix biopic "Jimi: All Is by My Side," starring André Benjamin as Hendrix, was made without the blessing of the Hendrix estate and so featured zero songs written by the late rock star.]
Jones did tweet that he'd happily give his blessing to author Neil Gaiman (who penned the non-Bowie fantasy novel "Stardust") to write an animated version of his father's characters, but wouldn't approve of a biopic.
As for the rest of the "Stardust" cast, Jena Malone will play his then-wife Angie (and mother of Jones) and Marc Maron will play a record company publicist. Principal photography is set to begin in June.
Flynn is just ending a run on London’s West End opposite "Game of Thrones" star Kit Harington ("Game of Thrones") in Sam Shepherd’s play "True West." His films include the 2011 indie "The Lotus Eaters," in which he played a drug-addicted musician and "Song One," in which his musician character romances Anne Hathaway.