Rock icon David Bowie recorded his first music for the screen in 20 years. The Thin White Duke wrote the theme for the upcoming diamond heist drama The Last Panthers, a new co-production from Sky and Canal about the real-life Balkan gang of diamond thieves called the Pink Panthers.
The six-part series The Last Panthers stars Samantha Morton, Tahar Rahim and John Hurt. Bowie’s track will play over the opening credits.
“I was looking for one of the icons of my youth to write the music for the title sequence but was presented with a god,” The Last Panthers director Johan Renck said. “His first response was precise, engaged and curious. The piece of music he laid before us embodied every aspect of our characters and the series itself — dark, brooding, beautiful and sentimental (in the best possible incarnation of this word). All along, the man inspired and intrigued me and as the process passed, I was overwhelmed with his generosity. I still can’t fathom what actually happened.”
This is Bowie’s first original music for a TV show since he recorded the theme to the BBC’s The Buddha of Suburbia in 1993.
The single to the Buddha of Suburbia series hit number No 35 on the charts. Bowie also released an EP of songs when he appeared in the BBC adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s Baal.
Bowie wrote “Real Cool World” for the film Cool World in 1993. Bowie originally wrote the single “I’m Afraid of Americans” for the movie Showgirls in 1995. Bowie co-wrote and performed the song “Safe” for 1998’s The Rugrats Movie, but it was cut from the movie and released as a single in 2002.
Bowie announced in August that also wrote with Jonathan Coulton for the upcoming SpongeBob SquarePants musical.
Bowie is currently working on the musical Lazarus, which is based on the science fiction film The Man Who Fell to Earth, that starred the Starman.
The Last Panther was filmed in Marseille, Belgrade, Montenegro and London. It will air later this year on Sky Atlantic in the UK.