Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast to portray Pete Seeger in the upcoming Bob Dylan biopic A Complete Unknown, director James Mangold told Deadline in a new interview. The movie centers around Dylan’s groundbreaking electric set at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. As a legendary folk musician and longtime influence to Dylan, in regards to both his music and activism, Seeger plays a crucial part in Dylan’s real-life story. He was an early supporter of the then-rising artist, helped his debut album land at Columbia, and invited him to perform at Newport Folk Festival.
Last month, it was revealed that Timothée Chalamet will play Dylan while Monica Barbaro has been tapped to portray Joan Baez. Also joining the cast is Elle Fanning as Sylvie Russo, a university student and artist billed as Dylan’s love interest in the early ’60s. (Dylan famously dated artist Suze Rotolo, who appears on the cover of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, for several years during that same period, however Deadline and IMDB both spell Fanning’s character as Sylvie Russo.)
A Complete Unknown will begin production in New York this summer. It was co-produced by James Mangold, who co-wrote the film alongside Jay Cocks. Bob Dylan himself is one of the film’s executive producers, and Mangold previously said that Chalamet will do his own singing for the movie.
Read “The 8 Best Bob Dylan Documentaries” on the Pitch.