Like many other film projects, Timothée Chalamet‘s Bob Dylan biopic has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, its cinematographer, Phedon Papamichael, told Collider. “We were going to do Bob Dylan with [director James] Mangold,” he said. “That didn’t happen, with Timothee Chalamet about going electric in the ’60’s, and it would have been my third ’60’s movie in a row.”
Papamichael clarified that the movie hasn’t been scrapped altogether, but it’s just not happening “right now.” He added, “I don’t think it’s dead, but it’s a tough one to pull off in a COVID-era because it’s all in small clubs with lots of extras in period costumes, so you’ve got lots of hair and makeup.”
Chalamet had already begun his research on Dylan. He had rented a house in Woodstock in July that happened to have a wall dedicated to the musician, according to his GQ cover story. “It’s not like I’m suffering from lack of connection otherwise, but it just really feels like I’m connecting to something here,” he said of staying in the town. He was traveling between Woodstock and New York City that whole month. Chalamet became “helplessly obsessed” with Dylan and quoted him often. In Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, he sought out the singer’s old addresses with notes from his memoir, Chronicles: Volume One.
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After playing King Henry V and an iconic literary love interest in 2019, Timothée Chalamet is now set to portray a music legend. The Oscar-nominated actor will embody a young Bob Dylan in an upcoming biopic, according to multiple reports.
Directed by James Mangold, who recently helmed the Christian Bale and Matt Damon starrer Ford v Ferrari, the film will follow Dylan’s big switch from folk to rock music, according to Deadline. Per the outlet, the project has no official title but is being referred to informally as Going Electric. Chalamet is rumored to be taking guitar lessons to prep for the role, but it’s unclear if he’ll be lending his real singing voice to the tracks.
Dylan fans, fear not: The musician himself is working actively with the director and studio Searchlight Pictures on the film. He’ll executive-produce and has already secured music rights for the project, according to The Hollywood Reporter. His longtime manager, Jeff Rosen, is also a producer on the film.
Chalamet, who most recently starred as Laurie in Little Women, has a big year ahead. According to Deadline, he’ll hit the stage in London for the production 4,000 Miles, appear in the Wes Anderson film The French Dispatch, and star in Dune, which is due at the end of the year.
The historic moment at the center of the film is Dylan’s performance at the 1965 Newport Rock Festival, when he put on a rock ‘n’ roll set with electric accompaniment for the first time, resulting in public outcry. That year, The New York Times reported that Dylan “was roundly booed by folk-song purists, who considered this innovation the worst sort of heresy.” Dylan had released one of his biggest hits, “Like a Rolling Stone,” just five days prior, which added to the shock.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.