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David Bowie documentary ‘Moonage Daydream’ confirmed to stream in 2023

The film, from 'Montage of Heck' director Brett Morgen, is four years in the making

By Joe Goggins

A still from Brett Morgen's 'Moonage Daydream'
A still from Brett Morgen's 'Moonage Daydream'. (Photo: Neon)

Initial details of the forthcoming David Bowie documentary, ‘Moonage Daydream’, have been revealed.

The film is being directed by Brett Morgen, who also helmed the acclaimed Kurt Cobain retrospective ‘Montage of Heck’. Last November, Variety reported that Morgen had spent four years mining largely-unseen archive footage of Bowie for a new project, but an official announcement was not forthcoming.

Now, Bowie’s estate have confirmed that Morgen has indeed sifted through thousands of hours of live film of the rock icon, and that the resulting movie has a title. ‘Moonage Daydream’ takes its name from track nine on 1972’s legendary ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’, and has been described as equal parts feature film, concert documentary and “experiential cinematic odyssey”.

Whilst no release date has been confirmed, sources are suggesting to Variety that it may premiere at Cannes Film Festival next month. It is confirmed to air on HBO and stream HBO Max in the US in 2023, which would hint at a Sky broadcast in the UK, given the close ties between the two networks. As yet, however, nothing concrete has been announced.

A press release, though, has provided some insight into ‘Moonage Daydream’. It is, apparently, a “project that shows how Bowie himself worked across several disciplines, not just music and film but also dance, painting, sculpture, video and audio collage, screenwriting, acting and live theatre”.

Further to that, it’s claimed that Morgen was granted “unfiltered access to Bowie’s personal archives, including all master recordings, to create an artful and life-affirming film that takes the audience on a journey through Bowie’s creative life”. Bowie’s longtime right-hand man, Tony Visconti, is onboard, and has worked on the film’s music alongside such luminaries in the field as Academy Award-winning mixer Paul Massey, suggesting that the new live footage will be key to the film’s appeal.

Previous attempts to immortalise the Starman on film have been fraught, with Danny Boyle forced to abort a planned musical when licensing rights were denied. Gabriel Range went ahead anyway with the 2020 biopic ‘Stardust’; it tanked critically and commercially. The British Film Institute, though, did pay tribute to Bowie’s movie legacy with a specially-curated programme, ‘Starman and the Silver Screen’, earlier this year.