It’s official: Bob Dylan is the latest singer to get a biopic. What’s not official? Who will be portraying singer — but the studio is thisclose to casting him, and it’s pretty damn exciting. Searchlight Pictures is in talks with Timothée Chalamet to portray folk music’s biggest, most influential icon. Is there another actor right now that is more perfect for the role? (Don’t answer, that was completely rhetorical.)
The project — which is currently untitled but for the sake of names, is being called Going Electric — will be directed by James Mangold, who most recently was behind the lens on Ford v Ferrari but also helmed the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, which earned Joaquin Phoenix an Oscar nomination and his co-star, Reese Witherspoon, a win for Best Actress. Going Electric will follow Dylan on his rise to fame and Deadline reported the 78-year-old is “working actively” with Mangold and the studio, as he obviously wants to achieve an accurate portrayal. Dylan’s folk genius has always been undeniable but it was his evolution as an artist, when he traded his acoustic for an electric, that transformed rock music as the world knew it. Throw in Dylan’s idols Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, as well as his relationship with Joan Baez, and that’s already quite the movie.
If history is any indication, movies about musical legends are awards show bait — just ask Rami Malek and Taron Egerton, who played Freddie Mercury and Elton John, respectively. And biopics are coming down the Hollywood pipe fast and furiously, from the Aretha Franklin project starring Jennifer Hudson, to the not-yet-cast Boy George movie. According to Deadline, Chalamet is already taking lessons so he can look like he can convincingly play both an acoustic and electric guitar but it’s not known whether he’ll be singing Dylan’s songs himself. Considering Tim goes all-in with his roles, we wouldn’t be surprised if the singing lessons have begun as well.
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Girl tweets about sitting next to Timothee Chalamet
Chalamet himself knows what that shoot to fame is like. It was in 2017 when the young actor became a household name with Call Me By Your Name, and has since shone brightly in every film since, from Lady Bird and Beautiful Boy, to The King and Little Women. Timothée next stars in Denis Villeneuve’s star-studded remake of the 1984 sci-fi flick Dune alongside Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista and Javier Bardem. It’s set to hit theatres in December.
Next, Chalamet is heading across the pond to star opposite Eileen Atkins in the stage production of 4,000 Miles in London’s West End. Timothée also has Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch in the works, where he reunites with his Lady Bird and Little Women co-star Saoirse Ronan, not to mention another packed cast including Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet, Elisabeth Moss, Benicio Del Toro, Adrien Brody and Willem Dafoe.
Now, if Chalamet signs on to play, we wonder if there’s any chance they can get Ronan to take on the role of Baez. Because we can all agree, Timothée and Saoirse are magic together.
Dylan was last portrayed on screen in 2007’s I’m Not There, which featured six actors — Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Marcus Carl Franklin, Ben Whishaw and Richard Gere — playing different incarnations of the musician’s life and work.
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