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David Bowie Film Coming from Director Brett Morgen

Montage of Heck filmmaker is pulling from thousands of hours of unseen concert footage for the film.

David Bowie film
David Bowie, photo by Monks & English/Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images
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    Brett Morgen, director of immersive, collage-like documentaries including Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck and Janeis working on a movie about David Bowie based on thousands of hours of unseen concert footage of the late musician.

    While a lot of information about the project remains under wraps (no titles or release dates yet), Variety quotes a source who describes the film as “neither documentary nor biography, but an immersive cinematic experience.” This makes sense, given Morgen’s history: his Cobain film utilized home footage and animations of the musician’s own art, which proved much more compelling than the talking heads featured. Plus, Bowie’s widow, the model Iman, has long rejected authorization requests for a traditional biopic. “It’s always a no. We always ask each other, ‘Would he do it?’ He wouldn’t,” she recently told Variety. It appears Morgen’s film does have the cooperation and support of Iman and Bowie’s estate.

    Morgen is set to write, direct, produce, and edit the film, and he has a strong production team behind him: long-time Bowie producer Tony Visconti is credited as music producer, and the sound team comes from the Oscar-winning Bohemian Rhapsody. 

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    Morgen’s last feature film was 2017’s Jane, the Primetime Emmy-winning National Geographic documentary about the primatologist Jane Goodall. Before that, Montage of Heck hit HBO in 2015 following an eight year production period.

    As for Bowie, the late Starman’s music continues to the subject of a massive archival campaign. This year alone has seen the release of his lost 2001 album Toy; The Width of a Circle, featuring 21 unreleased tracks from The Man Who Sold the World-era; and the inclusion of “Life on Mars?” on the soundtrack to  Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming film Licorice Pizza.

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