“Blackstar,” a dark and ominous new song by David Bowie that was commissioned specifically for Johan Renck’s upcoming series The Last Panthers, was shared earlier this morning. It marks the first time in over twenty years that Bowie has penned/performed original music for a series (Bowie’s last contribution was composing the soundtrack to BBC’s 1993 adaptation of Hanif Kureishi’s novel, The Buddha of Suburbia).
The brooding music hints at the tone of the show, and was the result of Bowie and Renck’s seemingly organic collaboration. Renck said, in a statement in the Facebook post announcing the track:
I showed Mr. Bowie the two first episodes in the rough state they were at the time, and he liked what he saw very much. We discussed the various aspects of the show; naturally the plot line, but also the underlying currents of guilt and personality flaws. We talked about the dark heart of Europe. We talked about the biblical aspects of human nature. He asked if there was anything else to see, so I showed him the first concept board I had just made for the title sequence—images from the show laced with chimaeras and demons from the worlds of Bosch and Grunewald. That’s when he said go–it all fits. Then he played me his new song BLACKSTAR.
The European crime thriller stars Samantha Morton as Naomi, an independent claims specialist who is tasked by her boss (played by John Hurt) to retrieve stolen diamonds, which are likewise being tracked down by a policeman (played by Tahar Rahim of 2009’s Un Prophète).
Watch the title sequence below:
Watch the trailer for the show:
The Last Panthers is scheduled to premiere on Sky Atlantic in Spring 2016.