An upcoming new movie from director James Mangold (Walk the Line, Ford v Ferrari, Logan) will cover the early years of Bob Dylan’s career, with Little Women star Timothée Chalamet in talks to play Dylan. “It starts at 19 when he arrives in New York City,” a source familiar with the film tells Rolling Stone. “And also heavily involves the rest of the rest of the folk scene at the time.”
Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, the then-hospitalized Woody Guthrie and other key figures of the scene will all be characters in the movie, according to the source. Bob Dylan’s camp has given its blessing to the project and is actively involved, the source confirms. Reps for Dylan and Chalamet did not immediately reply to requests for comment. (The news of the film, which will be released by Searchlight Pictures, and the potential casting, was first reported by Deadline.)
In 2017, Mangold told Rolling Stone he was looking for a music-themed movie to follow up 2005’s Walk the Line, which told the love story of Johnny Cash and June Carter. “There’s been a couple of instances where I’ve actually approached artists,” Mangold said. “The trick is always, are they ready for that kind of treatment? And do you have something original to say? It’s not good enough that they wrote great music or changed music history. You actually absolutely have to have a story. And there’s many places where there’s these stories that are fabulous, but will they ever let you make them into a movie?”
Since then, music biopics have become bigger business than ever – and proven their ability to bring decades-old music to new prominence with young audiences – thanks to Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, among other projects. Previously, the closest thing to a Dylan biopic was 2007’s quirky I’m Not There, where he was played by multiple actors, most memorably including Cate Blanchett.