Actor Benedict Cumberbatch (“Doctor Who”) will play iconic folk musician Pete Seeger in an upcoming biopic about Bob Dylan. Titled “Complete Unknown,” the film comes from Searchlight Pictures. Cumberbatch will be joining the already announced cast of Timothée Chalamet (“Dune“) as Dylan, Elle Fanning (“The Great“) as Sylvie Russo, and Monica Barbaro (“Top Gun: Maverick“) as Joan Baez.
“Complete Unknown” is set to chronicle Dylan’s early career once he arrived in New York City. In real life, Seeger had a serious impact on Dylan’s musical upbringing. The young artist often drew inspiration from the folk icon’s music and activism. Seeger eventually helped the aspiring musician facilitate his debut album with Columbia Records. He also served on the board of the Newport Folk Festival, allowing him to invite Dylan to play the event.
Reportedly, Chalamet will be doing all his own singing to portray the music legend. His co-star Elle Fanning will play Sylvie Russo, an early love interest of Dylan’s. Barbaro will portray American singer-songwriter and folk music icon, Joan Baez.
Production is expected to start this summer in New York. The film is directed by James Mangold (“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”) from a script he co-wrote with Jay Cocks (“Gangs of New York”). Dylan himself will be serving as an executive producer.
This will be the second biopic about Dylan after 2007’s “I’m Not There,” which had several performers including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw portray different parts of the singer’s life. Though “I’m Not There” took a less linear approach, “Complete Unknown” seems like it will have a much more straight forward narrative.
We’ll let you know what we hear about this and other news.