Timothee Chalamet to Play Bob Dylan in Film Directed by James Mangold

Alex Stedman

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Timothee Chalamet is in talks to play Bob Dylan in the Fox Searchlight film “Going Electric,” directed by “Ford v Ferrari” filmmaker James Mangold, Variety has learned.

The movie will follow Dylan as he rises in fame on his way to become a folk music icon.

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The news comes after a busy year for Chalamet, who most recently appeared in Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” adaptation as Laurie and starred in Netflix’s historical drama “The King.” Next up, Chalamet will star in Denis Villeneuve’s star-studded “Dune” with Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem.

For Mangold, it would be his second telling of the rise of a musical icon of the ’60s (and beyond), after 2005’s “Walk the Line,” which starred Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and earned Reese Witherspoon a best actress Oscar for her portrayal of June Carter Cash.

Most recently Mangold scored rave reviews for “Ford v Ferrari,” which stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale and tells the true story of the automotive team at Ford, led by designer Carroll Shelby (Damon) and his British driver Ken Miles (Bale), as they build a race car in an attempt to beat the legendary Ferrari at the prestigious Le Mans race. He previously directed and co-wrote the critically acclaimed “Logan,” which went on to become the first live-action superhero movie to be nominated for screenwriting at the Academy Awards.

The last film to dramatize Dylan’s life, albeit in highly surreal fashion, was 2007’s “I’m Not There,” a feature from Todd Haynes that was more fantasia than biopic, with six actors playing different facets of Dylan’s public persona: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw.

Dylan was on movie screens as well as home video in 2019 with Netflix’s Martin Scorsese-directed “Rolling Thunder Revue,” which documented (and played with the reality of) the musician’s 1975 tour, via old and new footage. Before that, Martin Scorsese directed the more straightforward documentary “No Direction Home,” which covered the mid-’60s period when Dylan indeed went electric — which, Mangold’s title indicates, will likely a focus of his dramatization as well.

Deadline first reported the news.

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