Why David Bowie rejected Danny Boyle’s musical idea

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Danny Boyle has always tried to incorporate music into his work as much as possible. However, his plans for David Bowie met a stumbling block after the man himself scoffed at the idea of ​​bringing his story to the screen. After seeing the romantic comedy Yesterday, his rejection turned out to be a smart move.

The aforementioned film centers on a struggling singer who is the only person in the world who remembers Beatles songs. With this skill, and after a monster storm, the main character ends up becoming the greatest artist on the planet. In truth, it is as ridiculous as it sounds. Bowie’s reluctance to hand over his music to Boyle managed to keep him in charge of his own narrative, thus avoiding a spooky narrative.

There is something deeply un-rock ‘n’ roll about a musical, no matter what the storyline is. While Bowie’s music was theatrical, that doesn’t mean his story would necessarily translate into the format. However, the rejection hurt Boyle deeply, later claiming it left him and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce “in heartbreak.”

“Frank and I were working on a David Bowie screenplay,” Boyle said. Empire Magazine in 2019. “I told Bowie about it at the Olympics and went to see him. He didn’t really want to do anything at the time and I didn’t really understand why.

“It was not clear to anyone that he was sick,” Boyle added. “All he said was, ‘I don’t want to do anything in the past. I’m working on stuff for the future ”.

The chances of the project being revived are slim, especially since Bowie didn’t allow it during his lifetime. The right thing to do, of course, would be to grant her wish and make sure the script never saw the light of day. “I don’t know if we’ll come back to this,” Boyle admitted. “But it’s a Brit in particular that I would like to study. Frank’s was a wonderful script on the relationship between him and Iggy Pop.

Of course, Bowie’s relationship with Iggy Pop and those heady days in Berlin pique interest more than almost any blockbuster. However, it’s a tricky story involving real people. For it to be completed, it would have required precision and care. Without the support of “The Starman”, this simply wouldn’t have worked.

In all fairness to Boyle, at least the director realized that you couldn’t do a David Bowie biopic without using David Bowie songs, which didn’t stop the directors of the 2020 film from doing it. Stardust to go ahead with their own project. The production tried to get around the major problem by having Johnny Flynn, who played Bowie, cover songs that Bowie also covered during the Ziggy Stardust era and unsurprisingly encountered unfavorable reviews, with fans feeling aggrieved. . Plus, it took less than $ 10,000 at the box office, which says a lot about the indifference to the film.

Stories like Bowie’s exist in music and through the whispered tales of confidants. Not all tales need to be turned into a biopic, and a project like this risks reducing Bowie’s alluring mystique.

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