The Man Who Fell to Earth – Bill Nighy joins the cast

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Nighy will take on the role made famous by David Bowie. 

Only last month, Showtime dropped a trailer for their upcoming take on The Man Who Fell to Earth. Based on Walter Tevis’ 1963 novel, made famous by Nicholas Roeg’s 1976 film adaption, the new version will star Chiwetel Ejiofor and Naomie Harris.

Now, it’s been announced that Bill Nighy is joining the cast. He will be playing the role of Thomas Jerome Newton – David Bowie’s iconic role in the movie.

While the announced premise of the show is minimal…

An alien who arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future.

… Nighy’s casting suggests the show will continue the original story. Newton, who has spent some forty years living amongst humanity, has summoned Farady (Ejiofor) to complete his original mission. It appears that Newton’s time spent on Earth has cost him his sanity.

This makes some sense of the production arrangements too; while the show is produced by CBS, in association with Secret Hideout and Timberman/Beverly, Studiocanal are also in the mix. They are the rights holders to both Tevis’ book and the Nichola Roeg film.

Imaginative daring

Bill Nighy has released a statement to accompany news of his casting:

“I was honored to be invited to play the part of Thomas Jerome Newton that glorious David Bowie made so famous. I was keen to work with Chiwetel and Naomie again.” 

He goes on to consider the show’s relevance:

“I think the story is terrific and brilliantly expressed. I am an enthusiast for shows which extrapolate from current technology and give us plausible glimpses of a possible near future. It’s an important story which, as well as being highly entertaining, discusses the crucial issues of our time. I like to think that the film makers of the original film would applaud Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet for their imaginative daring and loyal regard.”

Nighy previously worked with Ejiofor on Love Actually, and with Harris on the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

Wider cast

In addition to Ejiofor, Harris and Night, Sonya Cassidy, Rob Delaney (Catastrophe), Josh Herdman, Annelle Olayele, Clarke Peters, Jimmi Simpson (Westworld) and Star Trek Voyager‘s Kate Mulgrew are all set to appear.

The Man Who Fell to Earth will premiere later in 2022 – we look forward to finding out more soon.