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 this year’s sequel Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
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.
Read more: The 10 best music biopics
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.
A Complete Unknown release date
Searchlight Pictures originally revealed plans to develop a Bob Dylan biopic in 2020 following the success of other movies that showcased the life and times of stage stars like Queen’s 2018 feature Bohemian Rhapsody and 2019’s Elton John film Rocketman.
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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 looks set to shoot in New York this summer.
Unfortunately, a concrete release date has yet to be revealed but we can likely expect to see something by late 2024 or early 2025.
What is the plot of A Complete Unknown?
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!”.
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 Bob Dylan biopic A Complete Unknown?
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.”
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.
FUBAR star Monica Barbaro will play Baez while casting for American musical legend Guthrie has yet to be revealed.
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