Taking on his first acting role in 15 years, Bob Dylan has signed to star in Intermedia Films’ tentatively titled “Masked & Anonymous,” the big-screen directorial debut of television writer/director/producer Larry Charles. The project is aiming to begin production in July.
Written by Rene Fontaine and Sergy Petrov, “Masked” is based on the unpublished short story “Los Vientos del Destino,” written by Enrique Morales. It follows the story of Jack Fate (Dylan), a wandering troubadour who finds his destiny. The film ends with Fate playing a concert.
Dylan has agreed to bring his own music to be performed in the film, and a strong soundtrack featuring his music is expected to accompany “Masked.” It is not yet known whether Dylan will write original material or use existing songs.
Charles, best known for his TV work on such shows as the NBC sitcoms “Seinfeld” and “Mad About You,” and HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” will produce the film with Intermedia co-chairman Nigel Sinclair. The duo had been developing the project for nearly a year before Dylan agreed to come aboard, subject to his schedule.
“The character of Jack Fate is not unlike Bob Dylan’s persona, so he is a natural for this role,” Sinclair said. “This has been Larry Charles’ passion project, and we feel fortunate to be associated with this.”
Dylan most recently appeared onscreen in the 1987 Lorimar Home Video feature “Hearts of Fire,” co-starring Rupert Everett. Before that, he co-wrote, directed, and starred in the 1978 feature “Renaldo and Clara.” Dylan made his acting debut in Sam Peckinpah’s 1973 film “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.”
Dylan won an Academy Award last year in the best song category for “Things Have Changed,” from the soundtrack to “Wonder Boys.” His latest release for Columbia Records, “Love and Theft,” is nominated for three Grammy Awards, including album of the year and contemporary folk album. He is among the 30-plus performers who will take the stage during tonight’s (Feb. 27) Grammy ceremony at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.