Duncan Jones

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Duncan Jones
Jones in 2015
Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones

(1971-05-30) 30 May 1971 (age 52)
Bromley, London, England
Alma mater
  • Director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active2002–present
Notable work
Rodene Ronquillo
(m. 2012)

Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones (born 30 May 1971) is a British film director, film producer and screenwriter. He directed the films Moon (2009), Source Code (2011), Warcraft (2016), and Mute (2018). For Moon, he won the BAFTA Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. He is the son of English singer-songwriter David Bowie and Cypriot-born American model, actress, and journalist Angie Bowie.

Early life[edit]

Jones was born at Bromley Hospital in Bromley, London, on 30 May 1971,[1] the first child of English singer-songwriter and musician David Bowie (1947–2016) and his first wife, Angela "Angie" Bowie (née Barnett), an American model and actress.[2] His maternal grandfather, George, was a United States Army veteran and mining engineer who ran a mill for the Cyprus Mines Corporation, while his maternal grandmother, Helena, was a naturalised Canadian. His mother was born and raised in Cyprus,[3] and has Polish ancestry.[4] His birth prompted his father to write "Kooks" for his 1971 album Hunky Dory.[5]

Mostly raised by his father David and his Scottish nanny, Marion Skene,[6] Jones spent time growing up in London, Berlin, and Vevey in Switzerland. He attended the first and second grade at the Commonwealth American School (now the International School of Lausanne) in Lausanne. When his parents divorced in February 1980, his father was granted custody of eight-year-old Jones (who was then known as "Zowie Bowie" to rhyme with his father's stage name) and he visited his mother on school holidays until ending contact with her at age 13.[7] At age 14, he enrolled in the Scottish co-educational boarding school Gordonstoun.[8] At the age of 12, he decided that he preferred to be called "Joey", and used this nickname until shortening it to "Joe" in his later teen years. The press reported that he went by "Joe" in 1992 when attending his father's wedding to fashion model Iman, where he was the best man.[9] He reverted to his birth name around the age of 18.[10]

Jones is the half-brother of Alexandria "Lexi" Jones (born 2000), the daughter of his father and his father's second wife, Iman. He is also the half-brother of Stacia Larranna Celeste Lipka (born 1980) from his mother's relationship with musician Andrew Lipka, better known as Drew Blood. He has a stepsister, Zulekha Haywood (born 1978), who is the daughter of Iman and former NBA basketball player Spencer Haywood, Iman's second husband.

By 1995, Jones graduated with a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the College of Wooster. He then pursued a PhD degree at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, but left before completion to attend London Film School, where he then graduated in 2001.[8] While growing up, Jones dreamed of becoming a professional wrestler, and his father frequently praised what he called Jones' "natural strength".[11]


Jones with his father at the premiere of Moon in 2009

Jones was one of many cameramen at his father's widely televised 50th birthday party directed by Englishman Tim Pope at Madison Square Garden in 1997 and also at two BowieNet concerts at Roseland Ballroom in New York City in June 2000. He was also the in-game cinematics director for the political simulator Republic: The Revolution, as well as scripting elements of the game.[12]

Jones directed the 2006 campaign for the French Connection fashion label. The concept of 'Fashion vs Style' was to re-invigorate the brand and move it away from the former incarnation of FCUK, which style pundits believed had become tired and overused.[13][14] The advert debuted in the week ending 20 February 2006 and featured two women (representing fashion and style) fighting and briefly kissing each other. The advertisement generated 127 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.[14]

Jones's first feature film, Moon, was nominated for seven British Independent Film Awards in 2009, and won two, Best British Independent Film, and the Douglas Hickox Award for Best British Director on their debut feature.[8] It was also nominated for two BAFTA Awards at the 2010 ceremony, winning Jones the BAFTA Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. The film has received 19 other nominations from film festivals and societies, including the BAFTA Carl Foreman Award.

He directed the Summit Entertainment project Source Code,[15] a science-fiction thriller from Vendome Pictures, which was produced by Mark Gordon. Source Code was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 26 July 2011 in the United States.

Jones directed and co-wrote Warcraft, based on the video game series of the same name, which was released in the summer of 2016.[16] His next film would return to the science fiction genre and be called Mute, starring Alexander Skarsgård and Paul Rudd. Jones had been developing the project for years and described it as a "spiritual sequel" to Moon, and was inspired by Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.[17] The film, set in Berlin forty years in the future, follows a mute bartender investigating his lover's disappearance.[18] The film was produced and released by Netflix, and became available to stream world-wide in February 2018.[19]

Through his social media, Jones announced in July 2018 that his next project would be a science fiction film, based on the 2000 AD Comics character Rogue Trooper.[20] In July 2019 he told Entertainment Weekly, "The script is really looking pretty good now. It's getting to the point where we're going to have to start casting and making the thing."[21][22]

Personal life[edit]

Jones became engaged to photographer Rodene Ronquillo (b. 1981)[23] on 28 June 2012. They married on 6 November 2012. On the same day, Ronquillo was diagnosed with breast cancer. The couple have campaigned for the awareness for the disease and for early diagnosis.[24] On 10 July 2016, Ronquillo gave birth to their first child, a son.[25] Their son was named Stenton David Jones.[26] On 1 October 2017, Jones announced that he and Ronquillo were expecting a second child.[27] Jones announced the birth of their daughter[28] on 18 April 2018.[29] He named her Zowie, after his own childhood name.


Year Title Director Writer Notes
2002 Whistle Yes Yes Short film
2009 Moon Yes Story
2011 Source Code Yes No
2016 Warcraft Yes Yes Co-written with Charles Leavitt
2018 Mute Yes Yes Co-written with Michael Robert Johnson
2025 Rogue Trooper Yes Yes


Year Title Notes
2020 Madi: Once Upon A Time in The Future Graphic novel
Co-written with Alex De Campi

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Title Award/Nomination
2009 Moon BAFTA Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
BIFA Douglas Hickox Award
Grand Prize of European Fantasy Film in Gold
Fantastic'Arts Jury Prize
Fantastic'Arts Special Prize
Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form
London Film Critics Circle Award for Breakthrough British Filmmaker
NBR Award for Best Directorial Debut
Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for Best First Feature-Length Film Screenplay
Nominated—British Independent Film Award for Best Director
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Filmmaker
Nominated—Evening Standard British Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer
Nominated—London Film Critics Circle Award for Best British Director
2011 Source Code Nominated—Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation
Nominated—Ray Bradbury Award


  1. ^ Buckley, David (2005) [1999]. Strange Fascination – David Bowie: The Definitive Story (Revised & Updated ed.). London: Virgin Publishing. p. 90. ISBN 0-7535-1002-2. On 30 May 1971, Bowie's son, Duncan Zowie Jones, was born in Bromley Hospital.
  2. ^ ANGIE BOWIE – BIOGRAPHY Archived 10 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine. angiebowie.net
  3. ^ Bowie, Angie (2000). "Cyprus: Land of Passion". angiebowie.net. Angie Bowie. Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  4. ^ Bowie, Angela. Backstage Passes, pp. 29–30
  5. ^ Kevin Cann (2010). Any Day Now – David Bowie: The London Years: 1947–1974: p. 218
  6. ^ Jones, Duncan [@manmademoon] (23 March 2017). "Also lost a most incredible woman, Marion Skene, to cancer last week. She raised me. Without her, who knows what kind of a mess I'd be" (Tweet). Retrieved 12 December 2021 – via Twitter.
  7. ^ "WTF with Marc Maron Podcast: Episode 892 – Duncan Jones / Brendon Small". wtfpod.libsyn.com. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "Duncan Jones: Creating his own space odyssey".. The Guardian. Retrieved 14 January 2016
  9. ^ "David Bowie Wonderworld: Press Archives 90s". Bowiewonderworld.com. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  10. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (7 June 2009). "Son of Major Tom, at Ground Control". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Genealogy – Geni – private profile – Genealogy". Geni.com. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  12. ^ Adams, Sam (8 April 2011). "Duncan Jones". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  13. ^ Akbar, Arifa (16 August 2004). "FCUK, off: fashion label decides to rest 'tired' logo". The Independent, UK. London. Archived from the original on 17 January 2011.
  14. ^ a b Sweney, Mark (6 July 2006). "French Connection and Beattie part company". The Guardian. London.
  15. ^ "Will Jake Gyllenhaal Crack Duncan Jones' Source Code?". DreadCentral. 8 June 2012.
  16. ^ Borys Kit (30 January 2013). "'Warcraft' Movie Lands 'Source Code' Director (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Duncan Jones Talks Mute". Empire. Retrieved 14 January 2016
  18. ^ "Paul Rudd & Peter Skarsgard To Star in Duncan Jones' 'Mute'". Deadline Hollywood. 3 November 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  19. ^ "Mute". Netflix. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Rogue Trooper Movie Coming From Warcraft Director Duncan Jones". Screenrant.com. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  21. ^ Collis, Clark (22 July 2019). "Director Duncan Jones gives Rogue Trooper update". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  22. ^ "Aneurin Barnard, Hayley Atwell, Jack Lowden Join Duncan Jones' Science Fiction Movie 'Rogue Trooper' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  23. ^ Rodene Ronquillo at IMDb
  24. ^ "Cancer Campaign Fundraising Page". Fundraiseforbcrf.org. 4 February 2012. Archived from the original on 16 March 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  25. ^ "David Bowie's son announces late father was to become grandad". The Guardian. 10 February 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  26. ^ "David Bowie's Grandson is Named After Him". 30 July 2016.
  27. ^ Duncan Jones [@manmademoon] (1 October 2017). "Incredibly excited to be able to announce that the Jones gang is growing again! @rodeneronquillo cooking up a little... girl!" (Tweet). Retrieved 16 December 2018 – via Twitter.
  28. ^ Duncan Jones [@ManMadeMoon] (28 April 2018). "Speaking of which, our lovely little girl has a name. (We chose it a while ago) Zowie Tala Mabsie Jones. About time SOMEONE made use of my middle name, even if I wasn't ready to!"" (Tweet). Retrieved 16 December 2018 – via Twitter.
  29. ^ Duncan Jones [@ManMadeMoon] (18 April 2018). "I am thrilled to announce that the sequel to the hugely popular Stenton Jones, has finally been unleashed upon the globe! Both @rodeneronquillo and her big, beautiful baby girl are doing amazing!" (Tweet). Retrieved 16 December 2018 – via Twitter.

External links[edit]