CBS All Access will explore a new space property beyond their ubiquitous Star Trek franchise. The streaming service announced on Thursday that it will adapt the sci-fi property “The Man Who Fell to Earth” as a series with co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet writing and executive-producing alongside executive producer John Hlavin.
The series is an adaptation of the Walter Tevis’ novel in which the humanoid alien Thomas Jerome Newton arrives on Earth from his planet Anthea, which is experiencing a terrible drought after many nuclear wars. Using his superior knowledge, he patents many inventions and plans to use the wealth amassed to make spaceships to migrate the desperate Antheans to Earth.
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David Bowie took on the iconic role in Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 film adaptation. The book also was made into an ABC series in 1987.
Kurtzman will direct the new series, while Rola Bauer, Tim Halkin, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Heather Kadin will also serve as executive producers, and Aaron Baiers will serve as co-executive producer.
“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 Alex Kurtzman and Lumet. “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, Original Content, 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, 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.”
CBS All Access has become the home of more speculative programming compared to its broadcast sister. Besides the healthy “Star Trek” franchise,” the streaming service also provides genre offerings such as “The Twilight Zone,” “Tell Me a Story,” and the upcoming adaptation of “The Stand.”