CBS' streaming service has given a straight-to-series order to The Man Who Fell to Earth, based on Walter Tevis' critically-revered 1963 sci-fi novel, it was announced Thursday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
The Man Who Fell to Earth tells the story of an alien, T.J. Newton, who arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future. Tevis' novel was adapted into a British film in 1976, which starred David Bowie in the title role and became a cult hit.
Alex Kurtzman (CBS All Access' Star Trek universe) and Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married) will write, executive produce and serve as co-showrunners, alongside executive producer John Hlavin. Kurtzman will also direct.
“Walter Tevis’ visionary novel gave us a tech god Willy Wonka from another planet, brought to life by David Bowie’s legendary performance, that foretold Steve Jobs’ and Elon Musk’s impacts on our world,” said Kurtzman and Lumet in a statement. “The series will imagine the next step in our evolution, seen through the eyes of an alien who must learn what it means to become human, even as he fights for the survival of his species.”
“We are thrilled to add another iconic genre favorite to our lineup as we expand original programming on CBS All Access,” said Julie McNamara, Executive Vice President of Original Content at CBS All Access. “We know this series will capture the soul and spirit of the source material and further push narrative boundaries in the capable hands of Alex Kurtzman, Jenny Lumet and the entire producing team.”
“I’ve been a fan of this extraordinary film starring David Bowie for years,” said David Stapf, President of CBS Television Studios. “While no one can ever hope to surpass Bowie, bringing the film to series will allow for an ongoing detailed and nuanced exploration of the concepts established in the novel.”
The Man Who Fell to Earth is the latest series to join the CBS All Access slate, which includes The Good Fight, The Twilight Zone, No Activity, Strange Angel, Tell Me a Story, Star Trek: Discovery and the upcoming Why Women Kill, Interrogation, The Stand, Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Lower Decks.
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