Surely, there will be an A-List out of this (from yours truly), but there have been some outstanding biopics from the generational voices in music. Some are even considered among the best biopics ever.
Think Ray (Ray Charles), La Bamba (Ritchie Valens), Straight Outta Compton (NWA), and the preeminent biopic on music Amadeus (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart). Yet, it seems the one missing from Hollywood’s Pantheon of other folks’ stories is something on some cat from Duluth, Minnesota named Robert Allen Zimmerman.
You may — or may not (given your age or proclivity for classic music) — know him as Bob Dylan.
Searchlight Pictures has been bandying something about for a necessary biopic on arguably one of the most influential songwriters of all time.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t appreciate his nasal overtones, harmonica playing (and please, you do that while you are playing a guitar), or even songwriting in iambic pentameter. He is an absolute legend, acclaimed among all musicians, and is certainly on a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Mount Rushmore.
And now, finally after rumored years of development, we have a director and lead actor. Deadline offers the exclusive that James Mangold will be at the helm of the new Bob Dylan biopic with easily, one of the most in-demand actors going today, Timothée Chalamet.
This could be an Oscar-in-waiting if you consider the talent. Mangold of Identity, 3:10 to Yuma, and Logan, is no stranger to great stories. Most recently, he was at the helm of Ford v. Ferrari, the true story of Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles. Not for nothing, but he’s no stranger to award-winning biopics too, as he directed the Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon monster hit about Johnny Cash, Walk the Line.
He knows what he is doing, and it all begins with authenticity. Mangold delves into the soul of his project. If you saw Walk the Line, you know Phoenix became Johnny Cash. Chalamet will do the same. Namely since Bob Dylan is working closely with both Searchlight and Mangold, according to the story.
Chalamet’s star burst into supernova status following his Oscar-nominated role in last year’s indie Call Me By Your Name. Previously, his roles have been in Interstellar, Beautiful Boy, and Lady Bird. Following Oscar’s intervention, he has been seen in Netflix’s The King and Greta Gerwig’s Little Women.
And then, there’s this Dune movie. Meh? Maybe you’ve heard of it?
Anywho, Mike Fleming, Jr. of Deadline fame writes Chalamet is “already is taking guitar lessons so he can familiarize himself with the acoustic and electric guitar.”
The film will be produced by Dylan’s longtime manager Jeff Rosen, Veritas Entertainment Group’s Bob Bookman, Alan Gasmer and Peter Jaysen, Automatik’s Fred Berger, The Picture Company’s Alex Heineman and Mangold. Dylan will be exec producer along with Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Andrew Rona. Dylan’s music rights are part of the package.
If biopics or musical icons are your thing, this will be marching toward a theater near you, followed by the subsequent victory lap around the Dolby Theater for the Oscars in the next couple of years.