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Bob Dylan biopic in the works

‘Far From Heaven’ helmer Todd Haynes will direct
/ Source: Reuters

The story of Bob Dylan’s life is blowin’ in the wind at Paramount Pictures.

The Viacom Inc.-owned studio has struck a deal with producers to develop a biographical feature film about the famed singer-songwriter with Dylan’s cooperation, a Paramount spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Dylan, who played a washed-up folk singer sprung from jail in the recent film “Masked and Anonymous,” will not portray himself in Paramount’s “biopic” but has licensed rights to his music for the production, the spokeswoman said.

The project is the brainchild of Oregon-based filmmaker Todd Haynes, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter and director behind 2002’s romantic period drama “Far From Heaven,” starring Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid, she said.

The film will be developed by New York production company Killer Films and Hollywood-based John Wells Prods. Haynes and the head of Killer Films, Christine Vachon, are old friends from college, a spokeswoman for the company said.

The project, tentatively titled “I’m Not There: Suppositions on a Film Concerning Dylan,” is in the earliest stages of development, though Haynes has been tinkering with the idea since before making “Far From Heaven.”

“They’ve got the director. Now they have to finish the script and start casting,” Paramount’s spokeswoman said, adding that no time table has been set for production or release of the film.

Vachon told Hollywood trade paper Daily Variety that Haynes hopes to finish the script in a few months, though details of the project remain sketchy.

“The film is going to be inspired by Dylan’s music and his ability to re-create and re-imagine himself time and time again,” Vachon was quoted as saying.

Haynes, himself, has said in previous interviews that he envisions the film as a “multiple refracted biopic” with Dylan played by at least seven different actors, including a woman.

Dylan, 62, whose music gave voice to an era of youthful revolt during the 1960s and transformed the sound and depth of rock ’n’ roll for four decades, has given few interviews over the years while remaining an object of intense fascination in the popular culture.

Director Martin Scorsese announced plans last year to make a documentary chronicling Dylan’s career. Scorsese documented the farewell tour of Dylan’s onetime back-up group, The Band, in 1978’s “The Last Waltz.”

Although Dylan’s music has graced numerous movies over the years, and he won an Academy Award in 2001 for his song “Things Have Changed” from the film “Wonder Boys,” his own screen career has been a mixed bag.

In addition to “Masked and Anonymous,” which was panned by many critics, Dylan’s film acting credits include 1987’s rock ’n’ roll drama “Hearts of Fire,” the four-hour-plus “Renaldo and Clara” (which he directed, starred in and co-wrote with Sam Shepard), and the 1973 western “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid” from director Sam Peckinpah.

He won three Grammy awards in 1998 for his album, “Time Out of Mind,” hailed by critics as one of his best albums ever. His 2001 release, “Love and Theft,” won the Grammy for best contemporary folk album.