James Mangold and Timothee Chalamet
James Mangold and Timothee Chalamet
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2023 is shaping up to be a massive year for James Mangold. He’s heading to Cannes next month for the premiere of “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” and was recently announced as the director of a new “Star Wars” movie. He’s also planning to work with the James Gunn-led DC Studios on a “Swamp Thing” film. But before he dives back into blockbusters, he’s planning to shoot his long-gestating Bob Dylan film “A Complete Unknown” with Timothée Chalamet this summer.

Mangold and Chalamet announced their plans to team up on a Bob Dylan project in 2020. The project, originally titled “Going Electric,” focuses on Dylan’s early years as a folk music icon and the subsequent backlash that he received when he introduced elements of rock and roll into his sound on the albums “Bringing It All Back Home” and “Highway 61 Revisited.”

In a new interview with Collider, Mangold offered fans an update on the film’s story and revealed that the plan is to begin production this August.

“It’s such an amazing time in American culture and the story of a young, 19-year-old Bob Dylan coming to New York with like two dollars in his pocket and becoming a worldwide sensation within three years — first being embraced into the family of folk music in New York and then, of course, kind of outrunning them at a certain point as his star rises so beyond belief,” Mangold said. “It’s such an interesting true story and about such an interesting moment in the American scene.”

When asked if Chalamet would be doing his own singing as Dylan, Mangold offered a blunt answer: “Of course!”

While news of yet another classic rock biopic often elicits groans in a post-“Bohemian Rhapsody” world, it’s worth remembering that Mangold is quite good at directing them. His Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line” is considered by many to be the gold standard of the genre, with Reese Witherspoon winning an Oscar for her performance and Joaquin Phoenix picking up a nomination for his role as the country legend. If “A Complete Unknown” is anything like “Walk the Line,” even the famously hard-to-please Dylan fanbase will probably be satisfied.

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