Classic Rock

How David Bowie Was Almost In A Beatles Movie

todayMarch 26, 2024 1

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The silver screen is littered with casting decisions that could have drastically altered the course of cinematic history. Imagine a blockbuster with a completely different lead, or a beloved comedy with a dramatic twist.

Well, here, we’re exploring a near miss of epic proportions: a Beatles movie that almost featured the enigmatic David Bowie featuring the hits of the Fab Four themselves.

The Thin White Duke could have graced the screen in a live-action adaptation of Beatles classics, but fate has a different plan for everyone.

Bowie almost took flight as Mr. Kite

The musical film Across the Universe brings The Beatles’ greatest hits to life on the big screen. Set in a fantastical version of the 1960s, the movie even features characters inspired by iconic Beatles songs, like Jude, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, Sexy Sadie, and Mr. Kite!

Director Julie Taymor has revealed a surprising casting tidbit in a 2018 interview. Apparently, Bowie was originally considered for the role of Mr. Kite! Taymor reminisced about the film’s rehearsal process, highlighting its bonding effect on the cast.

She even shared a funny anecdote about actress Evan Rachel Wood, who was apparently quite enthusiastic about the possibility of Bowie joining the project.

While Bowie ultimately didn’t take flight as Mr. Kite, the role eventually landed in the hands of the talented Eddie Izzard. Though Wood admitted to initially hoping for Bowie, she was ultimately happy with the casting choice, even imitating Izzard’s stand-up routines in the hallways!

A universe of connections and Bowie’s Beatles tribute

The Beatles’ song “Across the Universe” holds a special place in music history, and it also boasts a surprising connection to Bowie himself.

Not only is Bowie’s 1975 album Young Americans named after another Beatles song, but he also covered “Across the Universe” on the record. This wasn’t just any cover, though. Bowie enlisted the help of none other than John Lennon himself!

According to a 1975 interview with Rolling Stone, John recounted a fun time spent with Bowie in New York City. During their hangout, Bowie revealed his plan to cover “Across the Universe” and asked if John would be willing to lend a hand. John readily agreed, ultimately contributing guitar work to Bowie’s rendition. While countless artists have covered Beatles songs, Bowie’s collaboration with a former Beatle makes his version truly unique.

It’s unclear whether director Julie Taymor’s attempt to cast Bowie in Across the Universe was influenced by his cover of the film’s namesake song. Regardless, Bowie’s presence in the movie would have been a remarkable addition, further solidifying the fascinating connection between these two musical giants.

A dream come true for the young Evan Rachel Wood

Wood reminisced fondly on her experience making Across the Universe in the Vulture interview. “It was one of the best experiences of my life,” she gushed, highlighting her youthful enthusiasm at the time.

Wood described her initial reaction to the news of Taymor directing a Beatles movie. “Once I heard Julie was making a Beatles movie, I remember just thinking, ‘There’s nobody else that can do this. And I won’t let anybody else do it!’” Thankfully, her determination paid off. Wood landed the role, and the cast spent a significant amount of time together in New York City, bonding over their shared passion for the Beatles.

While critical reception for Across the Universe was initially mixed, the film has since achieved cult classic status among dedicated Beatles fans. The experience itself, however, was undeniably positive for Wood. Though the addition of David Bowie would have undoubtedly added another layer of excitement, Wood’s personal journey with the film remains a cherished memory.

Written by: Best Classic Bands Staff

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