How David Bowie's Berlin period inspired Duncan Jones' sci-fi film Mute
Netflix movie stars Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd, and Justin Theroux
David Bowie famously spent a portion of the ’70s recording in Berlin — and that period left a lasting impression on the late rock superstar’s director son, Duncan Jones, who has made the German city the setting for his new Netflix science fiction film, Mute (out Feb. 23).
“Yeah, I was there as a kid, when Dad was doing that,” says Jones, whose movie is dedicated to his father and to his nanny, Marion Skene. “Berlin had an effect on me in a different way, but it certainly still had an effect on me. And I’ve been back there over the years. I used to play a lot of rugby, and I was there on a rugby tour just before the Wall came down, so we actually went into East Berlin, just before it fell apart. I’ve kind of experienced Berlin over different stages, over the decades, and especially these days, it’s an incredibly interesting, cosmopolitan, vibrant city, with influxes of immigrants and a real churning sense of east-meeting-west. So, I think for our story, which is so much based on different immigrant communities, it really kind of was the right place to set it.”
Mute stars Alexander Skarsgård as a barman in a near-future Berlin whose girlfriend, played by Seyneb Saleh, goes missing while Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux portray a pair of morally dubious surgeons.
Watch the trailer for Mute, above.