Edward Norton Replaces Benedict Cumberbatch in Timothée Chalamet-Starring Bob Dylan Biopic

Norton will play Pete Seeger in the film from director James Mangold

Edward Norton attends the "Motherless Brooklyn" Arrivals during the 57th New York Film Festival
Getty Images

“A Complete Unknown” is getting slightly less magical.

Benedict Cumberbatch, known to most as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Master of the Mystic Arts Doctor Strange, has dropped out of the upcoming Bob Dylan biopic starring Timothée Chalamet as Dylan. He will be replaced by Edward Norton in the role of singer and activist Pete Seeger.

The project will be directed by “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” filmmaker James Mangold, who previously mined the similar musical biopic material in “Walk the Line,” and is being produced by Searchlight Pictures. The movie will also feature Elle Fanning as Sylvie Russo.

Jay Cocks, writer of “Gangs of New York” and “Age of Innocence,” wrote the screenplay with Mangold handling revisions. The script follows the journey of Dylan as he starts playing with an electric guitar in 1965, a moment in music history commonly referred to as “Dylan goes electric.” Filming on the project is meant to get underway this summer.

In a different corner of the multiverse, Norton and Cumberbatch would be costars in the MCU. Norton starred in “The Incredible Hulk,” which is technically a part of the MCU and established that Bruce Banner and Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) were in the same world. But after that movie’s difficult production, Norton was replaced with Mark Ruffalo for “The Avengers” in 2012. Cumberbatch joined the MCU a few years later with 2016’s “Doctor Strange.”

Dylan’s manager Jeff Rosen will produce the project alongside Veritas Entertainment Group’s Bob Bookman, Alan Gasmer and Peter Jaysen, Automatik’s Fred Berger, The Picture Company’s Alex Heineman, and Mangold. Exec producers include Dylan, as well as Automatik’s Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Andrew Rona.

Deadline first reported the news.


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