Described as a “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 delves into Bowie’s work in dance, painting, sculpture, video and audio collage, screenwriting, acting, and live theatre.
Moonage Daydream marks the first documentary to be made with the blessing of Bowie’s family. The musician’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, Morgen’s track record ultimately 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.
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 will debut in theaters and IMAX on September 16th before making its way to HBO Max.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to note the film’s theatrical release date, as well as its official full-length trailer.