October 4, 2022

Ahead of its Monday evening premiere at the Cannes Film Festival’s Midnight Screenings section, the first trailer for filmmaker Brett Morgen’s “Moonage Daydream” — a feature-length film dissecting David Bowie’s creative, musical and spiritual journey — has been released.

Featuring never-before-seen footage, performances, and music, the documentary is piloted by Bowie’s own narration. It is the first film project officially sanctioned by Bowie’s estate. Neon will release the film in partnership with Universal Pictures Content Group, HBO Documentary Films and IMAX.

Morgen, known for “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck,” “The Kid Stays in the Picture” and “Jane,” spoke about the project during CinemaCon, discussing how much of it is shaped by thousands of hours of rare performance footage of the musician and more than 500 assets from Bowie’s archive. The Oscar-nominated director received unfiltered access to Bowie’s personal libraries, including all master recordings, in 2017.

“Bowie cannot be defined, he can be experienced,” Morgen told the CinemaCon crowd. “That is why we crafted ‘Moonage Daydream,’ to be a unique cinematic experience.” He also said he had spent two years “scrolling through every piece of material in the Bowie archive” to craft the film.

After spending five years in production, “Moonage Daydream” will examine not only the life but also the creative wizardry of Bowie, who worked across several disciplines — most notably music and film — but also explored art forms throughout his life including dance, painting, sculpture, video and audio collage, screenwriting, acting and live theatre.

The film is expected to premiere on HBO and HBO Max in the spring of 2023. Variety broke the news of the project, which was financed by Live Nation and BMG, last November.

A rep for BMG, which has a 25% stake in Bowie’s song catalog from 1970 through 1977, also confirmed to Variety that songs cleared for the film include “Changes,” “Starman,” “Ziggy Stardust,” “The Jean Genie,” “All The Young Dudes,” “Life on Mars,” “Rebel Rebel,” “Fame,” “Young Americans” and “Golden Years.”

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