David Bowie performing as Ziggy Stardust in 1973.

Duncan Jones says family has not approved film, but instead proposes Neil Gaiman project

David Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones, has said that producers of a proposed biopic about the musician have not secured the rights to use his father’s music or the approval of his family.

Jones was responding to reports that Johnny Flynn, star of successful British independent movie Beast, had been cast to play Bowie in Stardust, a film about Bowie’s 1971 tour of the US. It is to be directed by Death of a President’s Gabriel Range.

Jones wrote on Twitter: “I’m not saying this movie is not happening. I honestly wouldn’t know. I’m saying that as it stands, this movie won’t have any of dad’s music in it, & I can’t imagine that changing. If you want to see a biopic without his music or the [family’s] blessing, that’s up to the audience.”

A report in Deadline suggested that the film, which is due to feature Jena Malone as Angie Bowie and Glow’s Marc Maron as a publicist, would contain “a small number of Bowie performances”.

A statement issued by Stardust’s producers, UK outfit Salon Pictures said: “We would like to clarify that this film … is a moment in time film at a turning point in David’s life, and is not reliant on Bowie’s music.”

“Much like Nowhere Boy for Lennon, Control for Joy Division, the production uses period music and songs that Bowie covered, but not his original tracks.”

Jones asuggested instead a collaborative animated project between Neil Gaiman and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse director Peter Ramsey.

Gaiman and Ramsey appeared taken by surprise at the message, but each responded positively: Gaiman tweeted: “You are the best”, while Ramsey replied: “I am not worthy!!!!”

Jones, who directed the Netflix sci-fi film Mute, also ruled himself out of taking on a biopic about his father. “I’m not the right person to make it. My perspective is far too uniquely subjective and personal.”