Well, here’s some big news. Timothée Chalamet — the internet’s favorite actor and also everyone else’s — is apparently taking on the role of one of the most iconic musicians of all time. Deadline reports that Searchlight Pictures has closed a deal with director James Mangold for a Bob Dylan biopic, and Chalamet is reportedly attached to star as none other than Dylan himself.
Though the film is technically untitled, supposedly it’s been referred to as Going Electric. And, fittingly, it’s said to chronicle the era when the young Dylan, already a folk musician revered and obsessed over, plugged in an electric guitar and subsequently pissed off a lot of folk purists while also igniting one of the most pivotal turning points in rock history. Deadline suggests the movie could capture that moment at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, as well as Dylan’s run-ins with other famous mid-century figures like Joan Baez and Pete Seeger.
The project comes with a certain pedigree. Chalamet, of course, has been leaving behind a trail of deeply acclaimed and meme’d performances in the past couple years, most recently with Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women. (If you have not seen it yet, you should, it’s great.) Mangold is riding on critical acclaim for Ford V Ferrari, and in addition to big projects like Logan on his resume, he also already ventured into the world of iconic mid-century American music when he made the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line back in 2005.
But perhaps most intriguingly, this whole thing seems to — somewhat surprisingly — exist with Dylan’s own blessing. His longtime manager Jeff Rosen will serve as a producer, and Dylan himself gets an executive producer credit. And the movie deal comes with rights to Dylan’s music. Biopics of famous musicians so often fall into the same traps of generic tropes and arcs, but here’s hoping something a bit more interesting and illuminating could come out of this particular combination of people.