Timothee Chalamet is gearing up to play legendary musician Bob Dylan in an upcoming biopic to be directed by James Mangold – the man who helmed Walk The Line (2005) about Johnny Cash.
During an interview with collider, Mangold was asked if Chalamet would sing for the movie Searchlight Pictures, instead of using Dylan recordings.
“Of course,” said 59-year-old Mangold while attending the Star Wars Celebration in London.
With production three years in the making, the delay appears to be a decision to give the young Hollywood mainman time to prepare for the role, including singing lessons, which is no mean feat considering Dylan’s unique voice.
The New York City filmmaker then revealed his motivation for taking on the Dylan film in the new interview.
“It’s such a great time in American culture,” he explained, adding, “The story of a young, 19-year-old Bob Dylan who comes to New York with about two dollars in his pocket and within three years has a global becomes a sensation – first embraced in the family of folk music in New York and then, of course, eschewing them at some point as his star rises so unimaginably.
“It’s such an interesting true story and such an interesting moment in the American scene.”
Like a rolling stone: The director of the upcoming Bob Dylan biopic revealed that Timothée Chalamet will do his own singing, which the actor has been preparing for about three years
Mangold made another big reveal by revealing that Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Joan Baez “will all star in this movie,” but he didn’t go so far as to reveal the names of the actors who will star. play the legendary folk singers.
There are early reports of it Weekly entertainment that the biopic is set around 1965, focusing on the period when Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman) went electric for a more rock and roll sound, leading to backlash from some members of the folk movement who criticized him because he moved away from political songwriting and performing with an electric band.
This won’t be Chalamet’s first time singing for a movie production. He previously performed a rendition of Chet Baker’s Everything Happens to Me in Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day in New York (2019), and he’s showing off his vocal chops in seven songs for the upcoming Wonka prequel.
During an interview in November 2022, the Call Me By Your Name star sounded grateful to have landed the role of Dylan, but seemed unsure at the time if it would get made.
“I haven’t stopped preparing, which has been one of the greatest gifts for me. It was a great experience to dive into that world, whether we make it or not,” he explained Variety.
He continued, “But without giving anything away – because I don’t want to get ahead of anyone, and of course things have to come together officially – the wind that is blowing is blowing in a very positive direction.”
Another added bonus for Chalamet ahead of his role as Bob Dylan: It turns out that the actor is musically inclined and can play both guitar and piano.
Mangold confirmed that filming for the Dylan biopic will begin this summer in August.
Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan first burst into the musical landscape with his self-titled debut album in 1962, which consisted primarily of traditional folk songs.
He would keep his breakthrough as a songwriter with the release of his follow-up, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963), which opens with Blowin’ In The Wind, which became an anthem of the sixties.
Embracing folk music: Dylan was embraced as a folk artist early in his career which began with his self-titled debut studio album in 1962
Electric controversy: In 1965 and 1966, the singer-songwriter received backlash from folk purists who criticized him for going electric for a more rock and roll sound
The controversy about going electric arose when he released three studio albums – Bringing It All Back Home (1965), Highway 61 Revisited (1965), and Blonde on Blonde (1966) – where he adopted the use of more electric rock instruments.
His six-minute single Like A Rolling Stone (1965) both expanded his commercial reach and broke creative boundaries within the popular music genre during that period.
During his storied career, Dylan has released 39 studio albums, most recently Rough And Rowdy Ways (2020).
With more than 145 million records sold, the now 81-year-old Minnesota native is considered one of the best-selling musicians of all time.