A Complete Unknown | James Mangold’s Bob Dylan biopic is heading into production in March

Timothee Chalamet
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James Mangold will be bringing the life and music of Bob Dylan to the big screen with A Complete Unknown. More details on the project here. 

With the strikes over, Hollywood is raring to go. Several delayed projects, such as the final season of Stranger Things, season 2 of The Last Of Us and even Michael Mann’s Heat 2 are slowly but surely heading into production this year. 

Another severely delayed project is James Mangold’s A Complete Unknown, a Bob Dylan biopic. According to World Of Reel, Mangold is eyeing up a late March shoot in Montreal and New York. 

Here’s the plot: “A COMPLETE UNKNOWN follows 19 year old Bob Dylan’s arrival to New York City in 1961 seeking to find his hero, an ailing Woody Guthrie. He is embraced by the New York folk scene (Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and others) who recognize his talent. He finds gigs in downtown clubs and soon becomes a sensation, under contract at Columbia Records. The film follows Dylan’s ascendance into a cultural phenomenon, his strong relationships in the folk music world and his ultimate transition away from folk music, forming a band, confusing his fans and disappointing the music community who first took him in.”

wonka christmas
Chalamet as Willy Wonka in Wonka. Credit: Warner Bros

Interestingly, the project is reportedly approved by Dylan himself. As reported by World of Reel, Mangold mentioned on the Sad Happy Confused podcast that Dylan has been supportive of the project, which sees Timothée Chalamet play the iconic folk singer. 

Chalamet has had an excellent few months with his latest film, Wonka, receiving very positive reviews as well as being a hit with worldwide audiences. The rest of the cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Elle Fanning, Boyd Holbrook, Monica Barbaro and Nick Offerman. 

Chalamet has reportedly recorded close to 70 percent of the film’s songs already. Chalamet did a bit of singing in Wonka as well, but playing Dylan will be a hefty challenge for the young actor. 

This isn’t the first time Bob Dylan has been brought to life on the silver screen. Todd Haynes’ 2007 film I’m Not There had several actors, including Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale and Richard Gere play the folksinger, although the film claimed to only have been inspired by the singer and doesn’t actually mention him by name. The film took a more experimental approach to Dylan’s life than Mangold’s upcoming film, but A Complete Unknown is the first time Dylan has approved of such a project.

There’s no news on when the film might be released or who’s distributing it, but we’ll keep you updated when we hear more.

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