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David Bowie Documentary Moonage Daydream Picked Up by Neon, Universal, HBO

The authorized film was written and directed by Brett Morgen

David Bowie documentary
David Bowie, photo by Lester Cohen
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    Back in November, news broke that director Brett Morgen was making the first-ever fully authorized David Bowie documentary. Now, the film — dubbed Moonage Daydream — has been acquired for release by Neon, Universal, and HBO Documentary Films (per The Hollywood Reporter). 

    Neon will release Moonage Daydream in the United States, and IMAX screenings of the film are expected to follow. Universal is handling the picture’s international release, while HBO holds cable and streaming rights.

    Described as a “feature-length experiential cinematic odyssey,” Moonage Daydream is narrated by Bowie himself and features never-before-seen footage, performances, and music. Beyond his illustrious music career, the documentary will also delve into Bowie’s work in dance, painting, sculpture, video and audio collage, screenwriting, acting, and live theatre.

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    While the Thin White Duke has certainly been the subject of many-a-film, Moonage Daydream marks the first project to be made with the blessing of his family. Bowie’s widow, Iman, previously explained her hesitance to authorize a biopic to Variety, saying, “We always ask each other, ‘Would he do it?’ He wouldn’t.” However, it looks like Morgen’s track record won the family over: With films like Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck and Jane, the director made a name for himself by utilizing private footage to create intimate, collage-like films instead of traditional, surface-level documentaries.

    With that in mind, Morgen was granted access to Bowie’s personal archives, including all of his master recordings and hours of discovered 35mm and 16mm film of his stage performances. The filmmaker wrote, directed, produced, and edited the project, while its soundtrack — comprising 48 musical tracks derived from original studio recordings — was helmed by longtime Bowie producer Tony Visconti, Bohemian Rhapsody sound mixer Paul Massey, and Ford v. Ferrari sound engineer David Giammarco. John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone led the film’s sound design.

    Moonage Daydream comes on the heels of Bowie’s addition to the Peloton canon, and the sale of his entire catalog to Warner Chappell Music. Later this month, the artist’s Brilliant Adventure EP and Toy EP will be released on vinyl and CD for Record Store Day.

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