Legendary rock star David Bowie will play a magical inventor in Christopher Nolan's forthcoming thriller THE PRESTIGE.

The movie, which is due to start filming in January (06), is based on CHRISTOPHER PRIEST's 1996 novel about rival magicians in early 20th century London.

Bowie's character NIKOLA TESLA is based on the real-life Serbian-American who discovered the rotating magnetic field.

The 58-year-old will star alongside Hollywood actors Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Michael Caine.

Bowie's previous acting credits include The Man Who Fell to Earth, Jim Henson's LABYRINTH and, most recently, MR RICE'S SECRET.