Benedict Cumberbatch will play Pete Seeger in upcoming Bob Dylan biopic A Complete Unknown.
The new film focusses on his legendary performance at Newport Folk Festival in 1965, a line in the sand for the rock era. Famously divisive, Dylan’s decision to ‘go electric’ earned rebuke from the folk community, severing old relationships in the process.
Director James Mangold revealed a few details about the film in an interview with Deadline, with Timothée Chalamet tapped to play Dylan, and Monica Barbaro securing the role of Joan Baez.
Curiously, English actor Benedict Cumberbatch steps in to play Pete Seeger. A folk icon, Pete Seeger played a key role in supporting Bob Dylan’s early career, but took umbrage with the songwriter’s decision to ‘go electric’.
James Mangold co-wrote the film alongside Jay Cocks; Bob Dylan himself steps in as co-producer, while Chalomet will record his own singing for the film.
Elle Fanning joined the cast as Sylvie Russo, playing Dylan’s love interest. It seems to be a conglomerate character, and the name recalls real-life girlfriend Suze Rotolo, who appears on the cover of ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’ – her memoir A Freewheelin’ Time is an excellent portrait of Greenwich Village in the early 60s.