And if David Bowie had remained in the role of Ziggy Stardust?

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Brett Morgen, who wrote and directed the new David Bowie film Lunar Reveriesaid he originally wanted to make an entirely different film about the icon, exploring what might have happened had he never left his Ziggy Stardust era.

The pair discussed the possibility when they met 15 years ago, but Bowie ultimately declined to participate, as Morgen explained in a recent interview with Variety.

“I met David in 2007 to discuss a possible collaboration on a hybrid non-fiction project – not Lunar Reverie, something very different that was going to be more performance-based,” he said. “That movie I showed him imagined that David would never have moved on from Ziggy and that we’d find him in today’s Berlin, and he’s been playing the same songs for 40 years in a dive bar in the middle of the night for the last four people on Earth who pay attention.

He knew the “wild presentation” would result in “a lot of shooting,” which was a problem since Bowie “was in semi-retirement at the time. … The man who became his executor called afterwards and said, you know, ‘David enjoyed the pitch but he’s not in a place where he can do it right now.’

After Bowie’s death in 2016, Morgen received permission to explore the artist’s archives to make a film that would be “Brett on Bowie” rather than “Bowie on Bowie”. The director knew he wanted to create a non-linear work that was more like a “ride in a theme park”.

“It took almost two years to digitize and put together this material, and then two more years for me to go through it, six days a week in 12-hour days,” he said. “I spent perhaps the best two years of my career going to work every day to watch and listen to David Bowie.”

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