Bill Nighy Is The New David Bowie In Showtime's The Man Who Fell To Earth

The Showtime series "The Man Who Fell to Earth" has cast its Thomas Newton. Played in the original film by the late David Bowie, Newton is a humanoid alien looking for a way to ship water back to his home planet from Earth, but he becomes entangled in human affairs and becomes trapped. Showtime announced in a press release that the character is going to be played by the great Bill Nighy ("Castlevania," "Shaun of the Dead"), and that the series will take place 40 years after the events of the 1976 film. Previously, details about the series timeline and whether or not Newton would return were under wraps, so this is big news for cult sci-fi fans. 

An Update on an Old Alien Friend

Nighy will join the previously cast Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years a Slave") and Naomie Harris ("28 Days Later"), both of whom he has worked with on previous projects. In the press release, Nighy shared his excitement: 

"I was honoured 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. 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."

The series is being executive produced by Kurtzman and Lumet, along with Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, Heather Kadin, Aaron Baiers, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and STUDIOCANAL's Rola Bauer and Françoise Guyonnet. It's a direct sequel to the 1976 film, based on the Walter Tevis novel of the same name. The series will follow a new alien character named Faraday (Ejiofor) after he is summoned to Earth by Newton, looking for help finishing his original mission. Unfortunately, it seems that 40 years among mankind has cost Newton everything. He might even be going a little mad. It's a shame that Bowie cannot reprise his role, but Nighy is a pretty darn good replacement. 

In addition to Ejiofor, Nighy, and Harris, "The Man Who Fell to Earth" has cast Jimmi Simpson, Sonya Cassidy, Joana Ribiero, Annelle Olaleye, Kate Mulgrew, Clark Peters, and Rob Delaney. The series will debut exclusively on Showtime sometime this spring.