Duncan Jones

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For the Welsh rugby union international, see Duncan Jones (rugby player).
Duncan Jones
Duncan Jones by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg
Born (1971-05-30) 30 May 1971 (age 44)
Bromley, London, England
Occupation Film director, film producer, screenwriter
Years active 2002–present
Spouse(s) Rodene Ronquillo (m. 2012)
Parent(s) David Bowie
Angela Barnett

Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones[1] (born 30 May 1971)[1] is an English film director, film producer, and screenwriter. He is best known for directing the award-winning science fiction films Moon (2009) and Source Code (2011). He is also the director of the upcoming 2016 film adaptation of Warcraft.

Early life[edit]

Jones is the only child from the marriage of David Bowie and his first wife, Angela, an American former model. He was born in Bromley, London.[1] His birth prompted Bowie to write the song "Kooks" for his 1971 album Hunky Dory.[2] Jones is the half-brother of Alexandria "Lexi" Jones (born 2000), from his father's second marriage to the fashion model Iman, and Jones is the half-brother of Stacia Larranna Celeste Lipka (born 1980), from his mother's relationship with musician Drew Blood (real name Andrew Lipka). He also has a stepsister, Zulekha Haywood (born 1978), who is the daughter of Iman and former NBA basketball player Spencer Haywood, Iman's second husband.

Jones spent time growing up in Berlin, London, and Vevey, where he attended the first and second grade at the Commonwealth American School in Lausanne. When the Bowies divorced in February 1980, David Bowie was granted custody of nine-year-old Jones (who was then known as "Zowie"), and he visited his mother on his school vacations. At age 14, he enrolled in the Scottish boarding school Gordonstoun.

Around the age of 12, Zowie decided that he preferred to be called "Joey", and used this nickname for some time 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 Iman, at which he was the best man.[3] Whilst growing up, Jones dreamed of becoming a professional wrestler, and his father frequently praises what he called Jones' "natural strength." [4] According to the New York Times, he reverted to his birth name around the age of 18.[5]

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 as a director.


Jones was one of many cameramen at his father's widely-televised 50th birthday party directed by Englishman Tim Pope at Madison Square Garden 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.[6]

Jones with his father David Bowie at the premiere of Moon in 2009

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.[7][8] 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.[8]

Jones's first feature film, Moon, was nominated for seven British Independent film awards and won two, both going to Jones. It was also nominated for two BAFTA Awards at the 2010 ceremony, winning one. There have been 19 other nominations and wins for the film, from film festivals and societies, including the BAFTA Carl Foreman Award, British Independent Film Award for Best Film and British Independent Film Award The Douglas Hickox Award.

He directed the Summit Entertainment project Source Code,[9] a science-fiction thriller from Vendome Pictures, which was produced by Mark Gordon. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal played the lead role in the film.[10] Source Code was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 26 July 2011 in the United States.

On 30 January 2013, Jones was announced to direct the Warcraft film adaptation.[11]

In November 2015, Jones announced his next film after Warcraft will be the science fiction thriller Mute, starring Alexander Skarsgard and Paul Rudd. Jones had been developing the project for many years and has described it as a "spiritual sequel" to Moon, heavily inspired by the 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner. The film, set in Berlin forty years in the future, will follow a mute bartender investigating his partner's disappearance.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Jones announced his engagement to photographer Rodene Ronquillo on 28 June 2012. They married on 6 November 2012. On the same day, Ronquillo was diagnosed with breast cancer. The couple have been campaigning to raise awareness for the disease and for early diagnosis since then.[13][14]


Year Title Role Notes
2003 Whistle Writer, director, producer Short film
2009 Moon Writer, director 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
ALFS Award for British Director of the Year
NBR Award for Best Directorial Debut
Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for Best First Feature-Length Film Screenplay
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Film
Nominated – BIFA Award for Best Director
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Fillmmaker
Nominated – Evening Standard British Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer
Nominated – Gaudí Award for Best European Film
Nominated – ALFS Award for British Director of the Year
2011 Source Code Director Nominated – Bradbury Award
Nominated – Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
2016 Warcraft Co-writer, director
2017 Mute Co-writer, director


  1. ^ a b c 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 Haywood Jones, was born in Bromley Hospital. 
  2. ^ Graham, Caroline (8 August 2009). "Zowie Bowie: How a son of rock royalty survived a bitter rift with his mother to earn genuine success". The Daily Mail (London: dailymail.co.uk). Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Aris, Brian. "The wedding of David Bowie and Iman". Hello!, 13 June 1992.
  4. ^ Tan, Mandy. [1].
  5. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (7 June 2009). "Son of Major Tom, at Ground Control". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  6. ^ Adams, Sam (2011-04-08). "Duncan Jones | Film | Interview". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  7. ^ Akbar, Arifa (16 August 2004). "FCUK, off: fashion label decides to rest 'tired' logo". The Independent, UK (London: Independent News and Media Limited). 
  8. ^ a b Sweney, Mark (6 July 2006). "French Connection and Beattie part company". MediaGuardian.co.uk (London: Guardian News and Media Limited). 
  9. ^ "Will Jake Gyllenhaal Crack Duncan Jones' Source Code?". DreadCentral. 
  10. ^ "goes straight to 'Source'". Variety.com. 2009-11-08. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  11. ^ "'Warcraft' Movie Lands 'Source Code' Director (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter, 30 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Paul Rudd & Peter Skarsgard To Star In Duncan Jones' 'Mute'". Deadline.com. 2015-11-03. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  13. ^ "Cancer Campaign Fundraising Page". Fundraiseforbcrf.org. 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  14. ^ Sara Nathan (10 December 2012). "Duncan Jones wedding". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 

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