Advertisement

When will Bob Dylan biopic A Complete Unknown be released?

How does it feel to know nothing about the new Dylan movie? We can fix that.

Timothee Chalamet filming A Complete Unknown in Lower Manhattan, New York
Timothée Chalamet stars as Bob Dylan in A Complete Unknown. (Alamy)

Timothée Chalamet will soon be swapping his Willy Wonka top hat for Bob Dylan’s harmonica in A Complete Unknown, the latest movie to tackle the life and times of a music icon.

Telling a key moment in the life of a musical legend, the movie will be directed by James Mangold fresh from his time unearthing a cinematic heavy-hitter in 2023 sequel Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Read more: The 10 best music biopics

Promising to focus on a key moment in a career littered with important turning points that changed the direction of pop culture, A Complete Unknown has been in development for a while and experienced numerous delays.

However, with Indy out of the way, Mangold finally looks set to enter Dylan’s world. Here’s everything we know about A Complete Unknown so far.

When will A Complete Unknown be released?

Bob Dylan's first UK tour. (Landmark / MediaPunch)
Bob Dylan's first UK tour. (Landmark / MediaPunch)

Searchlight Pictures originally revealed plans to develop a Bob Dylan biopic in 2020 following the success of other movies that showcased the lives of stage stars like Queen’s 2018 feature Bohemian Rhapsody and 2019’s Elton John film Rocketman.

However, before production could begin it hit a snag in the form of the pandemic. Now that movie sets have returned to some form of normality and Mangold has seen Indy off into the sunset, A Complete Unknown finally entered production and began shooting in New York City in March 2024.

Unfortunately, a concrete release date has yet to be revealed but we can likely expect to see something by early 2025.

What is the plot of A Complete Unknown?

Timothee Chalamet filming A Complete Unknown in Lower Manhattan, New York
Timothée Chalamet has been seen filming A Complete Unknown in New York. (Alamy)

Dune star Chalamet will take the leading role in Mangold’s movie, finding the Duluth-born songwriter in the 1960s as he’s about to shake up his musical style by ditching the folk hero aesthetic that fans love and going electric.

In real life, this was a moment that occurred at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. While it was initially met with anger and confusion from Dylan fans who adored their acoustic guitar-wielding, Woody Guthrie-esque folk hero, it later emerged as a cultural shift that not only paved the way for him to write new hit songs but also gave birth to a brand new chapter of popular culture.

However, this transition didn’t come without plenty of growing pains. One such issue was infamously captured during Dylan’s performance at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall in 1965 where a disgruntled fan loudly labelled him “Judas!”.

Bob Dylan was labelled
Bob Dylan was labelled "Judas" during a show at Manchester's Free Trade Hall. (AP Photo/Pierre Godot)

The movie will also chronicle Dylan’s relationship with University student and artist Sylvie Russo and feature appearances from other musicians that were circulating the New York scene throughout the 1960s.

“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,” Mangold explained during a conversation with Collider.

“First being embraced into the family of folk music in New York, and kind of outrunning them at a certain point as his star rises so beyond belief.”

Who is starring in A Complete Unknown?

Timothee Chalamet filming A Complete Unknown in Lower Manhattan, New York
Chalamet will reportedly perform his own vocals on the Dylan tracks used in the movie. (Alamy)

As previously mentioned, Chalamet will be playing Dylan in Mangold’s biopic.

To prepare for playing such an influential musician, the Wonka star has been practising his guitar playing and will reportedly perform his own vocals on the Dylan tracks used in the movie.

“I haven't stopped preparing, which has been one of the greatest gifts for me," the star previously told Variety. "It's been a wonderful experience getting to dive into that world.”

Elle Fanning will play University student and artist Sylvie Russo. (Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Elle Fanning will play University student and artist Sylvie Russo. (Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Elle Fanning has been cast as Dylan’s love interest Russo, with Edward Norton playing fellow musician Pete Seeger.

Singer-songwriter Joan Baez, whose output and collaborations were integral in forming Dylan as an early artist will also appear in the movie, alongside one of Dylan’s biggest creative muses, Woody Guthrie.

Monica Barbaro will play Joan Baez in A Complete Unknown. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Monica Barbaro will play Joan Baez in A Complete Unknown. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

FUBAR star Monica Barbaro will play Baez while casting for American musical legend Guthrie has yet to be revealed.

During the press tour for Dune 2, Chalamet expressed an interest in creating a cross over between his Dylan and Austin Butler's Elvis Presley.

New York, USA. 24th Mar, 2024. Actors Timothee Chalamet and Edward Norton are filming a scene on their new movie about Bob Dylan in Downtown Manhattan, New York on March 24, 2024. Credit: Sipa US/Alamy Live News
Edward Norton plays Pete Seeger in A Complete Unknown. (Alamy)

"I'm deep in the Bob Dylan lore and he had tremendous respect for Elvis and Sun Records," the star told NME. "I wish you were in it! There’s an Elvis character in the Johnny Cash biopic [Walk the Line]. It’s really brief, it’s very brief, but I was kind of wishing we could create a musical cinematic universe.”

Is there a trailer for A Complete Unknown?

With production yet to formally begin, there’s currently no trailer available for A Complete Unknown. Check back soon though; as soon as it arrives, we’ll post it here.


A Complete Unknown is coming soon.

Watch a trailer for James Mangold's Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny