• Timothée Chalamet embodies Bob Dylan in a striking image from James Mangold’s biopic
    A Complete Unknown
  • Chalamet’s Dylan is seen crossing a rainy street in front of New York’s iconic Chelsea Hotel.
  • The image sets the stage for Mangold’s biopic, which follows Dylan’s journey to New York in 1961.



Timothée Chalamet becomes Bob Dylan in an evocative first-look image from James Mangold’s A Complete Unknown. Country music legend Johnny Cash received the biopic treatment from Mangold in 2005’s Walk the Line, which went on to snag five Oscar nominations. Hoping to strike gold with another biographical movie about a famous musician, Mangold now sets his sights on Dylan, depicting the famed singer’s arrival in New York in 1961, his exploits in the Greenwich Village folk music scene of the time and his ultimate controversial break from that scene.

Searchlight has yet to announce an A Complete Unknown release date, but Mangold just gave audiences a taste of the film’s evocative period tone, posting a first-look image showing Chalamet as Dylan in early 1960s New York. Check out the picture below:

Chalamet’s Dylan strikes an appropriately mythic figure as he crosses a rainy street in front of the famed Chelsea Hotel, neon signs reflected on the wet pavement.

Why A Complete Unknown Won’t Be Like Walk The Line

Joaquin Phoenix raising a glass in Walk The Line

One of the first movies in the run of modern-day musical biopics that continues to 2024, Walk the Line covered years in the lives of Johnny Cash and June Carter, depicting their career and relationship ups-and-downs in a way that has now become formulaic. A Complete Unknown will break with this formula, however, as it focuses on a relatively short period of Dylan’s life, reportedly homing in on his early years in New York after he journeyed there seeking out his hero Woody Guthrie, and became embraced by the folk music community.

A Complete Unknown Confirmed Cast and Their Characters



Timothée Chalamet

Bob Dylan

Monica Barbaro

Joan Baez

Elle Fanning

Sylvie Russo

Edward Norton

Pete Seeger

Boyd Holbrook

Johnny Cash

Nick Offerman

Alan Lomax

P.J. Byrne

Harold Leventhal

A Complete Unknown breaks so completely with the Walk the Line formula, in fact, that Mangold rejects the film being characterized as a biopic, as he explained to the podcast Happy Sad Confused last year:

“By the way, it’s not really a Bob Dylan biopic. The reason Bob has been so supportive of us making it, is it’s about, as in all cases I think of the best true-life movies are never cradle to grave but they’re about a very specific moment. In this case, it might sound Altman-esque, but it’s a kind of ensemble piece about this moment in time, the early ’60s in New York, and this 17-year-old kid with $16 in his pockets hitchhikes his way to New York to meet Woody Guthrie who is in the hospital and is dying of a nerve disease.”

While Walk the Line mostly concerned itself with the personal drama around Johnny Cash and June Carter, A Complete Unknown takes a more expansive cultural view, looking at Dylan’s decision to go electric, and the upheaval this caused in the folk community. Though the Dylan film will differ from Mangold’s previous musical biopic in key ways, it still focuses on a central performance that is sure to get Oscar buzz, as Chalamet reportedly has worked with Austin Butler’s Elvis movement and voice coaches in hopes of nailing down Dylan’s unique persona.

Source: James Mangold/X

A Complete Unknown

A Complete Unknown is a biographical movie that follows a young Bob Dylan as he integrates with New York and catches the eye of the folk singers in the area, eventually propelling him into stardom.

Searchlight Pictures , The Picture Company , Automatik Entertainment

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