The Weinstein Co. has scooped up North American and U.K. rights to “I’m Not There,” Todd Haynes’ sprawling Bob Dylan biopic.
Company plans to release the movie, the first Hollywood dramatization of Dylan’s life that the artist has blessed, later this year in the U.S.
Timed with the movie’s release will be an ambitious soundtrack featuring dozens of Dylan songs as recorded by other musicians.
Movie, which Haynes co-wrote with Oren Moverman (“Jesus’ Son”), takes an unusual approach to the biopic genre. Thesps including Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Christian Bale and even Cate Blanchett play the singer-songwriter at six stages of his life and music.
“The folk Dylan had very little to do with the rock ‘n’ roll Dylan, who had little to do with the preacher Dylan,” said producer Christine Vachon, describing some of the phases the actors will embody.
Vachon is producing the film via her Killer Films shingle, Jim Stern through his Endgame Entertainment banner. John Goldwyn and Jeff Rosen also produce. Cinetic’s John Sloss and John Wells exec produce.
Pic, which Cinetic sold to TWC, had been shopped in the last few months to distribs, who were shown a portion of the film, currently in post.
Financing was arranged by Sloss. Celluloid has already made a number of foreign pre-sales to overseas distribs, including Happinet for Japan, Tobis for Germany and Bim Distribuzione for Italy.
Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Ben Whishaw, Marcus Carl Franklin, David Cross and Bruce Greenwood are among the ensemble cast.
Randall Poster and Jim Dunbar supervised the soundtrack, which will feature artists as diverse as Willie Nelson and Yo La Tengo playing Dylan songs, as well as songs performed by Dylan himself.
Haynes, for whom “I’m Not There” is a passion project, previously directed another music-themed feature, the glam rock-centric “Velvet Goldmine,” which the Weinsteins distribbed at Miramax.
In making the announcement, TWC’s Harvey Weinstein said that Dylan has “lived an unbelievable and, at times, an elusive life” and that the movie would offer fans the ability “to really gain insight into his fascinating life.”
After year of resisting artistic renditions of his life, Dylan has been more willing in recent years to allow others to interpret him and his music.
In addition to Martin Scorsese’s critical fave “No Direction Home,” Dylan authorized the short-lived Twyla Tharp legit production “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” He also could write two more books to follow up on his bestselling “Chronicles: Volume 1” for Simon & Schuster, which owns the rights to those two tomes.
Although he is at an age when many musicians ease into retirement, Dylan routinely tours hundreds of days each year.