Chiwetel Ejiofor has been cast in the lead role of “The Man Who Fell to Earth” series currently in the works at Paramount Plus, Variety has learned.
The series is based on Walter Tevis’ 1963 novel and the 1976 Nicolas Roeg film that starred David Bowie, both of the same name. In the series version, a new alien character (Ejiofor) arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future.
“Chiwetel Ejiofor’s stage and film career are staggering in their bravery, commitment and quality,” said Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, co-showrunners and executive producers. “He’s everything we could imagine and a million things we can’t. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Ejiofor was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his starring role in the film “12 Years a Slave.” He was most recently seen in the HBO Max feature “Locked Down” and in the Netflix original film “The Old Guard.” He wrote, directed, and appeared in the 2019 Netflix film “The Boy Who Harnessed the World.” His other notable feature roles include “Doctor Strange,” “Children of Men,” “American Gangster,” and “The Martian.”
He is repped by CAA, Markham Froggatt & Irwin, and Hirsch Wallerstein.
Kurtzman and Lumet will write, executive produce, and serve as co-showrunners, with Kurtzman also set to direct. Rola Bauer, Tim Halkin, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, and Heather Kadin will also serve as executive producers with Aaron Baiers serving as co-executive producer. The series will be co-produced by CBS Television Studios and Tandem Productions, a StudioCanal Company, in association with Secret Hideout and Timberman/Beverly. StudioCanal owns the rights for both the book as well as the film.
“The Man Who Fell to Earth” had been in development as a series at Hulu for some time, but Paramount Plus (then CBS All Access) aggressively pursued the project when Hulu decided not to move forward with it.