‘A Complete Unknown’: Benedict Cumberbatch to play Pete Seeger in Bob Dylan biopic

A Complete Unknown, also starring Monica Barbaro and Ella Fanning, the film is directed by Oscar-nominee James Mangold.

May 21, 2023 05:55 pm | Updated 07:17 pm IST

Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch | Photo Credit: Getty Images

We had earlier reported that A Complete Unknown, a Bob Dylan biopic starring Timothee Chalamet as the music icon, is in the making. The latest is that actor Benedict Cumberbatch has joined the cast of the film to play singer and folk artist Pete Seeger.

A Complete Unknown, also starring Monica Barbaro and Ella Fanning, the film is directed by Oscar-nominee James Mangold. Based on the book Dylan Goes Electric by Elijah Wald, which Jack Cocks adapted to the screen, the Searchlight Pictures feature will chart the Nobel laureate’s switch from folk to rock music.

Also read | Songs and movies inspired by Dylan

Pete Seeger was an influential figure and inspiration to Dylan. A report by Collider states how his music and activism kept Dylan going in his own musical pursuit. “Seeger was one of the early backers of Dylan and his work. So it was very much a mentor/mentee kind of relationship with Dylan looking to Seeger for guidance even before the two knew each other,” states the report.

Notably, it was announced earlier that Chalamet will do his own singing for the film, which has Barbaro playing singer-songwriter Joan Baez. Fanning, on the other hand, is set to play Sylvie Russo, artist and Dylan’s love interest in the 60s. Woody Guthrie, one of the most significant figures in American folk music, is also set to feature in the film but details of who’s playing the singer-songwriter remain unknown at the moment.

Dylan is also attached to executive produce the project with Mangold. Jeff Rosen will produce the film alongside Veritas Entertainment.

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