Bob Dylan’s most controversial years are the subject of an upcoming biopic, and Timothee Chalamet has been tapped to portray the musician. Going Electric is still in its early stages, but it looks to duplicate the success of Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury (which won him an Oscar) and Taron Egerton’s performance as Elton John (for which he picked up a Golden Globe).
Chalamet has been having a hot couple of years himself, most recently with roles in A Rainy Day in New York, The King, and Little Women. In addition to portraying Dylan, Chalamet will also be in Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming adaptation of Dune and The French Dispatch, which will be directed by Wes Anderson. Going Electric features the directorial skills of James Mangold, who picked up a few nominations this awards season for his work on Ford v Ferrari.
Going Electric will follow Dylan through his transition from a folk hero to a rock star. When he walked out on the stage at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 and plugged in a Fender Stratocaster, Dylan created what is considered one of the most controversial moments in music history. His folk music fans quickly abandoned him. At the time, The New York Times reported that the musician was “roundly booed by folk-song purists, who considered this innovation the worst sort of heresy.” Reportedly, audience members even tried to cut the sound to the stage. That’s the role Chalamet will be taking on. For his part, the actor is taking preparation seriously. There’s no report on whether he will do his own singing, but according to rumor, he is learning to play the guitar. Regardless, the project has already won the blessing of the film’s subject—Bob Dylan. Dylan serves as an executive producer on the movie.
The film will most likely be released sometime in 2021, about the same time as Baz Lurmann’s Elvis biopic.