NEW YORK • Many fans were not happy in 1965 when Bob Dylan switched to electric guitars.

The 24-year-old was then cementing his mark as a leading figure in the American folk-music scene, with his fiery songs about defying the establishment.

But the crowd at the Newport Folk Festival booed him when he showcased his first live rock set.

Now, that period of his epic musical journey – when he was called a traitor by some folk purists – is set to be revisited in a new film about the now 78-year-old, who continues to be active in music.

Reports have surfaced that actor Timothee Chalamet, 24, will portray the legend in a biopic directed by James Mangold, who helmed the hit Ford V Ferrari (2019) movie.

The yet-to-be-titled film is reportedly based on the book Dylan Goes Electric by Elijah Wald.

Hollywood has grown an appetite for movies about music icons, after Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) – about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury – netted more than US$900 million (S$1.2 billion) worldwide.

Rocketman, about Elton John, also scored a hit with critics, with Taron Egerton winning a Best Actor in a Movie (Musical or Comedy) Golden Globe on Sunday for his role as Elton John.

Chalamet is reportedly taking guitar lessons but some pundits wonder if the greater challenge will come from Dylan, who has signed on to be the film’s executive producer.

The singer is not known to settle for less and did not make concessions even when he was a relative unknown.

In 1963, he walked out of a performance slot at the high-profile The Ed Sullivan Show – which introduced the Beatles to American audiences in 1964 – when he was asked to ditch the song he had rehearsed for another.

In 2016, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature, but snubbed the ceremony over a requirement that the winner must deliver a lecture.

The Swedish Academy, which chooses the recipients, and Dylan eventually settled for a private ceremony.

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