Director Nicolas Roeg’s the Man Who Fell To Earth from 1976 isn’t a perfect film, but it is a David Bowie film. That alone has made it worthy of being reexamined in the decades since, both critically and artistically, with the film now regarded as a cult classic and Bowie himself co-writing a musical version called Lazarus before his death. Now, as announced at a TCA event, CBS All Access is going to keep the general cultural awareness of The Man Who Fell To Earth alive with a TV adaptation from co-writers and co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet. Kurtzman will also direct the series, saying in a statement that the show will “imagine the next step in our evolution,” as “seen through the eyes of an alien who must learn what it means to become human.”
The original movie, and the Walter Tevis novel it was based on, was about an alien who visited Earth in hopes of taking some of our water back to his waterless home planet. Using his advanced alien technology, he becomes a rich tech mogul and starts using his company to build a water-carrying rocket that can save his people. Unfortunately, Earth is also home to cool stuff like alcohol and television, so he quickly gets distracted and—spoiler alert—his whole plan eventually falls apart. No casting details for the CBS All Access version were announced, but CBS president David Stapf says that “no one can ever hope to surpass Bowie,” so maybe they’ll just CG in footage from the movie.