David Bowie has written a song for an upcoming French-British crime series, in the rock icon’s first foray into television music in two decades.
Bowie in a statement Tuesday said that he had written an original song for “The Last Panthers,” a six-part thriller on Balkan jewel thieves that debuts in November.
“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,” director Johan Renck, a Swede best known for his music videos, said in the statement.
“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),” he said.
A collaboration between Britain’s Sky Atlantic and France’s Canal Plus, “The Last Panthers” stars Tahar Rahim — best known for the French film “A Prophet” — and Samantha Morton, whose credits range from blockbuster “Minority Report” to Woody Allen’s “Sweet and Lowdown” to “Control,” a biopic on late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis.
The television series revolves around the Pink Panthers, criminal elements from the Balkans — ironically nicknamed after crime comedy films — who pulled off major heists starting in the 1990s.
The music will be Bowie’s first for a television series since 1993 when he recorded a soundtrack for a BBC serial based on Hanif Kureishi’s novel “The Buddha of Suburbia.”
A pioneer of glam rock, Bowie has long pursued interests in art and theater and, at age 68, has recently announced a series of new projects.
Bowie is writing for a musical based on cartoon character SpongeBob.
He also penned the music for “Lazarus,” a play that premieres in New York in November that is inspired by the science fiction novel “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”
Bowie starred in a 1976 film version of “The Man Who Fell to Earth” but did not write the music amid contractual disputes.
Bowie’s works include the music for a BBC television version of Bertolt Brecht’s play “Baal,” in which he acted.