Showtime has announced it will exclusively air The Man Who Fell to Earth, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, and has revealed the drama series Shaka: King of the Zulu Nation, executive produced and directed by Antoine Fuqua.
THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH
Starring Oscar and Emmy nominee and BAFTA Award winner Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind), The Man Who Fell to Earth will premiere exclusively on Showtime in 2022. Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet are writing and executive producing the series and with executive producer John Hlavin will serve as showrunners.
Kurtzman will also direct multiple episodes of the series. Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Heather Kadin are also executive producing.
The series, which is moving to Showtime from ViacomCBS sibling Paramount+, is scheduled to begin production in London in April. The announcement was made today by Gary Levine and Jana Winograde, Presidents of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.
Based on the Walter Tevis novel of the same name and the iconic film that starred David Bowie, The Man Who Fell to Earth will follow a new alien character who arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future.
“We could not be more excited to bring The Man Who Fell to Earth to Showtime,” said Winograde. “This provocative drama, beautifully written by Alex Kurtzman, Jenny Lumet and John Hlavin harkens to the original film but feels reborn in capturing the themes of modern culture while challenging our assumptions of human nature. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a mesmerizing actor who draws you in with every action, thought and emotion, and he will be a phenomenal force igniting this journey.”
“Everything about this extraordinary story and its creative origins demands a bold, subversive approach to exploring what it means to be human in a world that’s never been more connected and disconnected,” said Kurtzman, Lumet and Hlavin. “David Nevins and the entire CBS Studios team have really inspired us with their passion for this legacy, and we’re thrilled to call Showtime our new home.”
The Man Who Fell to Earth is executive produced by Alex Kurtzman, Jenny Lumet, John Hlavin, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, Heather Kadin and STUDIOCANAL’s Rola Bauer and Françoise Guyonnet.
The series is produced by CBS Studios in association with Secret Hideout and Timberman/Beverly. STUDIOCANAL owns the rights for both Walter Tevis’ book as well as the Nicolas Roeg film with David Bowie.
SHAKA: KING OF THE ZULU NATION
Showtime has placed a series order for the hourlong drama Shaka: King of the Zulu Nation, executive produced and directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day). An epic drama centered around one man’s personal journey from stigmatized childhood to warrior king, the series is produced by CBS Studios, Propagate and Fuqua Films and created and written by Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika (The Terminal List).
They also executive produce with Ben Silverman and Rodney Ferrell of Propagate. The announcement was made today by Gary Levine and Jana Winograde, Presidents of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.
Rooted in actual events, Shaka: King of the Zulu Nation tells the story of the Zulu Empire chief Shaka and his unlikely rise to power, uniting multiple tribes across vast stretches of Africa in the early 19th century to transform his power into legend, on par with history’s most seminal figures.
In ferocious battles that test the body and soul, in alliances that test the bonds of love and friendship, a complex sociological system plays out that renders the human cost front and center, for the victors as well as the vanquished, all in an effort to carve out a semblance of identity, fulfillment and ultimately, survival.
“Olu and Tolu have written such an exciting and emotional origin story of an African warrior hero,” said Levine, “and Antoine’s passion for this project, coupled with his formidable talent, promises an epic series unlike any other on television.”
“This project offers a gateway to our past that is so critical to our global history and yet so often marginalized,” said Fuqua. “Through Shaka: King of the Zulu Nation, we hope to bring this saga to life, all the tears, sweat and blood, all the joy and sorrow, all the intimacy and intensity and humanity. In short, we’re going to rock the world with this one.”
Shaka: King of the Zulu Nation is executive produced by Antoine Fuqua, Olu Odebunmi, Tolu Awosika, Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens, Gregory Lipstone, Rodney Ferrell and Spencer Medof.
The series is also produced by Scott Greenberg, and Michael Callas is producing for Fuqua Films.