IFC films has released a trailer for the unofficial David Bowie biopic Stardust, which doesn’t have the approval of his estate or include any of his music.

You can watch the video, which features actor Johnny Flynn in the lead role, below.

The story covers the events that led Bowie, whose career was suffering a difficult start, to develop his Ziggy Stardust character and achieve international success. It focuses on his 1971 U.S. tour. However, the trailer appears to have upset fans, who seem to feel that Flynn’s depiction of the late legend, along with elements of the storyline, don’t live up to expectations.

Elton fans got theirs, Queen fans got theirs, why do Bowie fans have to get this?” one commentator asked on the clip’s YouTube page, which currently has close to 1,000 thumbs-up clicks versus approximately 1,800 thumbs down. “[Flynn] doesn't look like him, sound like him, behave like him,” another person wrote. “Bowie wasn't this introspective, worried, miserable character … he was self-aware, very funny, intelligent and always on the make. That is not the guy I'm seeing in this trailer.” Another fan demanded: “How did anyone think this was a good idea, or looked at the final product and decided this deserved to exist? Flynn is no David, and this trailer makes it overabundantly clear.”

Writer Michael Oberman, who was present when some of the scenes took place in real life, noted: “My brother [Ron] was director of publicity for Mercury Records, and I was a young music journalist. Marc Maron, who plays my brother in the film, is in his mid-50s; my brother was 27 when Bowie came to the States in 1971. My brother and David did not take a road trip across the U.S. in a station wagon.” He added that the “true story” can be found in his new book.

Stardust will be released, including video on demand, on Nov. 25. When it was announced in 2019, Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones, confirmed that no music rights were granted. “If you want to see a biopic without his music or the families blessing, that’s up to the audience,” he said.

Flynn admitted in a recent interview that the production was “potentially going to get a lot of flak from the Bowie army.”

 

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