James Mangold’s Bob Dylan biopic starring Timothée Chalamet has indefinitely been put on hold. DP Phedon Papamichael has officially confirmed the news.
Searchlight Pictures’ Bob Dylan biopic featuring Timothée Chalamet as the titular folk singer is not happening anytime soon, its cinematographer Phedon Papamichael has confirmed. First announced in January, the biographical film adapts Elijah Ward’s book about the acclaimed singer and songwriter and his controversial transition from traditional music to rock. The film was rumoredly called Going Electric, and it was being directed by the Oscar-winning Logan director James Mangold. Chalamet had already started learning guitar for his turn as Dylan in Mangold’s biopic, and he had also teased his role in the movie by tweeting lyrics from Dylan’s songs in August. But as it now appears, the biopic’s development has hit a roadblock.
During an interview with Collider, DP Papamichael confirmed that the Bob Dylan biopic has been put on hold indefinitely. “We were going to do Bob Dylan with Mangold that didn’t happen,” said Papamichael, who had collaborated with Mangold on the 2019 Academy-nominated movie Ford v. Ferrari. He is due to reteam with him for Indiana Jones 5. “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,” he added citing the ongoing pandemic as the main reason behind the film being put off. According to Papamichael, that while the project’s periodic nuances and occasionally claustrophobic club settings make it difficult to film right away, the Bob Dylan biopic is not completely off the table. But at the moment, Papamichael has not confirmed if and when there will be discussions about bringing the movie back on track.
Given the stature and disposition of the Bob Dylan biopic, and of the talents associated with the movie, it is perhaps best if its production does not take off so quickly. While it would certainly be a cinematic gem if it ever happens, period music-biopics and costume dramas like Going Electric can simply not compromise on their theatrical display and fine aesthetics. Additionally, Chalamet’s casting was subject to mixed reactions from fans. So now that the movie has been put back, it gives the makers more time to warm audiences up to the casting or to even recast the title role.
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