The eagerly anticipated new Bob Dylan biopic, which would star actor Timothée Chalamet in the lead role, has been delayed amid the current health crisis according to the project cinematographer Phedon Papamichael.
It was announced that Chalamet had been cast to play Dylan in the new film about the mercurial singer/songwriter’s life in a project titled Going Electric. In what is being lined up as one of the biggest and most ambitious biopics in recent times, the director at the helm of such a mammoth film is the maker of Ford v. Ferrari, James Mangold.
The film, as the title may suggest, will focus on the inspirational decision from Bob Dylan to give up on his traditional folk sound and employ an electric guitar for the first time ever. It would see shouts of ‘Judas’ from the crowd with Dylan reacting by asking the band to turn the amps up. It is also reported that the singer himself is working very closely with Mangold on the upcoming film, with Dylan’s manager Jeff Rosen set to produce the film.
However, given the current pandemic, cinematographer Papamichael has revealed that all plans have been shelved for the foreseeable. While Chalamet has been putting in the groundwork for the film, the desire to have period-specific settings mean that the project needs to be delayed until it is safe to do so. “We were going to do Bob Dylan with [director James] Mangold that didn’t happen, with Timothée Chalamet, about going electric in the ’60s,” Papamichael told Collider in a new interview.
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.”
While trying to get himself in the mode of Dylan, Chalamet rented an Airbnb in Woodstock in a bid to surround himself amid the history of a popular culture icon. At the same time though, the actor was driving back to New York to work on Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch alongside actor Frances McDormand who, it turns out, is married to director Joel Coen.
Continuing his bid to understand the life of Dylan in more detail, Chalamet invited Coen out for a steak, knowing full well that the director used Dylan inspiration for his film Inside Llewyn Davis. “He almost seemed weary of even talking about this stuff, it was so big and potent,” told GQ when he tried to ask Coen about the life of Bob Dylan.
Apparently, Coen explained that “the truly incredible thing about Dylan was not so much the quality, which was obvious, but the quantity—the rapid amount of work in short succession, one groundbreaking album after another, in those early years.”
For now though, those plans are on ice.