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Edward Norton to replace Benedict Cumberbatch as Pete Seeger in Bob Dylan biopic

Edward Norton has been tapped to play the role of veteran folk singer Pete Seeger in the upcoming Bob Dylan biopic, A Complete Unknown.

  • READ MORE: It Ain’t Me, Babe: Every on screen portrayal of Bob Dylan rated

Originally, the role of Seeger was meant to be played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who according to a Deadline Hollywood report, had to drop out of the project over scheduling conflicts. In his stead, Norton will now join the cast to play the folk musician.

The film – which has long been in the works – will star Timothée Chalamet as Bob Dylan and Elle Fanning as Sylvie Russo, with James Mangold directing. The film, which reportedly begins production in March, will focus on Dylan’s controversial decision in 1965 to embrace the electric guitar, alienating many of his original fans, rather than chronicling Dylan’s life and career.

Pete Seeger played a crucial role in Dylan’s career, being an early supporter of the iconic musician and being the man responsible for inviting Dylan to perform his first-ever electric set at the Newport Folk Festival.

Bob Dylan, Timothée Chalamet. Credits: Brettmann/Getty and Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Timothée Chalamet has been confirmed to perform his own singing in A Complete Unknown, with Bob Dylan serving as an executive producer. In preparation for his role in the upcoming biopic, Dylan’s longtime manager Jeff Rosen, who will also be serving as a producer on the film, gave Chalamet access to a 12-hour playlist of unreleased Dylan songs which were recorded between 1959 and 1964.

The project was announced in 2020, before being delayed indefinitely later that year with no release timeframe shared. Filming was expected to begin in August this year but was delayed again by the ongoing Hollywood strikes. Now, production is allegedly slated to begin early next year.

Dylan also “personally annotated” Chalamet’s script and spent several days with Mangold discussing the film.

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