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Rare is the biopic that isn’t an all-encompassing journey across a person’s entire life, from the humble beginnings of their birth, to their lonely misunderstood death. This goes double if the biopic is about a musician, and triple if Oliver Stone is attached.
But the upcoming film Lust for Life, according to The Hollywood Reporter, will limit its scope, focusing on the near-legendary 1970s West Berlin collaboration and relationship between David Bowie and Iggy Pop. The title comes from Iggy’s 1977 album of the same name, which was co-written and co-produced with Bowie, along with The Idiot, both of which are arguably Iggy’s greatest solo albums. This mini-era was also when Bowie released his genre-shifting albums Low and Lodger. And taking it even further away from your typical music biopic, the time setting in which the film takes place comes after the musicians’ heavy drug addictions. Who ever heard of such a thing?
Gabriel Range, responsible for the controversial Death of a President and I Am Slave, will be directing from a script by screenwriter Robin French, a playwright who currently writes for Andy Samberg’s British hippy comedy Cuckoo. These are strange creative backgrounds for men going into a film about two musicians, but seeing as how they’re two of the stranger musicians out there, it could be a perfect fit. French based his screenplay from several sources, most notably former Mojo editor Paul Trynka’s biographies Starman: David Bowie and Open Up and Bleed: Iggy Pop.
In a prepared statement, Berlin-based production company Egoli Tossell stated that the central character in the film would be West Berlin itself, which attracted all kinds of artistry and political activism in the late 1970s. So even though the biopic tropes are limited, they’re still going with the "location as a character" concept that always sounds silly when said aloud. I hope they don’t look like a bunch of "Stooges" for doing so. Feel free to make your own Ziggy Stardust reference here, since I couldn’t think of one.