In news that has the potential to temporarily bond generations together, Hollywood prince Timothée Chalamet is reportedly circling the role of boomer icon Bob Dylan in Ford v Ferrari director James Mangold’s Going Electric about the musician’s controversial adaptation of the electric guitar. While the deal isn’t completely finalized, Deadline reports that Chalamet is already taking guitar lessons to prepare for the role. Finally, a movie that has the potential to make Millennials and Gen Z-ers say, “Ok, boomer!” and mean it positively.
The only downside of the news is that, unfortunately, Chalamet is not an unlimited resource. Like all mortals, Chalamet is only young once, and while we look forward to his future career, we hope we’re not mourning what could have been. Sure, great directors have a way of giving us what we didn’t even know we needed, but the casting news left us thinking about what other iconic roles Chalamet could take on while he’s still in his 20s.
Romeo in A24’s Romeo and Juliet
Each generation gets its own definitive filmic take on the Shakespeare classic. Franco Zeffirelli’s faithful 1968 version is still the choice of High School English teachers everywhere, but 28 years later Baz Luhrmann gave the tale a modern update with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in the lead roles. It’s now been 24 years since that entry, so, naturally it’s now time to start thinking about a new one. While some may feel it’s only right to give the world’s Language Arts teachers an update by switching back to a traditional take, we propose pushing the tale into even stranger directions than Luhrmann’s interpretation. Get A24 and their stable of hipster auteurs on the case. We’re open to whomever. The Safdie Brother’s Romeo might be a very different film than Sofia Coppola’s take, and, yet, we’d see them both as long as Chalamet was our Romeo, oh, Romeo.
Mario Minniti in a Caravaggio Biopic
In the summer of 2018, the internet was briefly stunned by the Instagram account @ChalemetinArt. The concept was simple: Chalamet’s face was photoshopped into some of the world’s most famous art works. Really, Chalamet managed to slip into any artist’s auteur, but it was Chalamet’s visage placed into the context of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s “Boy With a Basket of Fruit” that really stood out. It was almost uncanny how much Chalamet managed to resemble the favored models of the Italian master of chiaroscuro, particularly the young Mario Minniti (a painter in his own right as well).
Caravaggio himself and his relationship to his models (mostly sex workers, drunkards, and others at edges of Italian society) are more than worthy of the narrative treatment. In fact, Derek Jarman’s 1986 film Caravaggio (co-starring a young Tilda Swinton in her very first film role) is still regarded as a classic, but modern attitudes almost demand a reinterpretation of Caravaggio’s legacy. We’re not sure who, exactly, should play the painter himself, but we do know who should be playing the boy with the basket of fruit (as we know, Chalamet does work well with fruits).
Gambit in Disney’s Eventual X-Men Reboot
We know. We know. The internet is convinced that it’s Timmée’s destiny to play Batman’s sidekick Dick Grayson either in his alter egos as Robin or the more grown-up version Nightwing (Finn Wittrock might disagree on the latter, but we digress). Yet, right now the DCEU’s version of Batman is set to be played by the relatively youthful Robert Pattinson, which may make the addition of Grayson, essentially Batman’s adopted son, a bit strange. Sure, DC seems to be open to fudging continuity (how many Jokers do they have running around screens now?), but we have a different proposal should Chalamet ever decide to suit up as a superhero.
The X-Men franchise is all but officially on hold after Disney bought up Fox, but everyone knows that eventually the mutants will be reintroduced into the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe (while the public may be wary of meta-mergers, the idea of the X-Men finally playing around with the Avengers et.al. was one of the few positive outcomes of the idea). Of course, any ’90s kid will tell you that the one major mutant Fox never got around to introducing in its movies was Gambit, the Cajun reformed thief with trust issues and a secret soft side. Channing Tatum was long attached to the role before the merger, but, honestly, it never really seemed like a good fit. Gambit’s angular face and wild hair seem more integral to his characterization than the generic superhero bod, and those are two attributes Chalamet has in spades.
With Chalamet in the lead, the rest of the cast naturally falls into place. Saoirse Ronan as his tragic love interest Rogue. Laura Dern and Laurie Metcalf as Rogue’s adoptive mother Mystique and Destiny. Louis Garrel as Mr. Sinister.
Oh damn, we think we just set up a Greta Gerwig film in the MCU.
Gitón in Guadagnino Satyricon
My aunt was the type of woman to purchase the most expensive cable package possible without question, which means stays at her condo came with previously untold entertainment options to explore. One night, after everyone went to bed, I settled on what I remember as Starz Arthouse, on which Fellini Satyricon was playing. It was a film that may have fundamentally changed me to my core, even though I still have no idea what the hell it’s actually about. Mostly, it’s about two young Roman hunks traveling around weird places and fighting over a twink.
No one really should dare to remake the film, but Chalamet’s Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino is just about the only director we would even care to see try.
Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye
The time is ticking on this! Author J.D. Salinger famously held off selling the movie rights to his classic, in large part because he didn’t think any young actor had what it took to play the central character. Yet, Salinger, who passed in 2010, did seem resigned to the fact that someday after he died a movie would likely be made. Would Chalamet have what it takes to take on Holden Caulfield in Salinger’s eyes? We’ll never know, but we are talking about a generational talent here. His character in Lady Bird was already halfway to Caulfield, anyway. While we could still see 24-year-old Chalamet play 17-year-old Caulfield at the moment, there’s not much time left to do it. Let’s get on this, Hollywood!
All Four Ramones in The Ramones
Timothée Chalamet in a rockstar biopic seems inevitable. You can’t walk around with that hair and that frame and not help but call to mind guitar-playing bad boy. Bob Dylan wouldn’t have been our first thought, but who would be? The last thing the world needs right now is another generation of girls romanticizing Sid Vicious, so let’s kill that idea right now. We’d desperately want Timmée as Mick Jagger to work out, and, yet, we’re not sure it’s right (or would he be better as the Keith Richards to Harry Styles’ Jagger?). He’s not Lou Reed. He’s not Joe Strummer. He’s not Iggy Pop. Maybe after he bulked up for Gambit he could play Jim Morrison in a few years, but The Doors already have a biopic. Timmée as Robert Smith from The Cure is a funny idea, but that band’s history isn’t full of drama. Maybe Lindsey Buckingham in the Fleetwood Mac pic, but who cares when there’s the roles of Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie to consider first? Axl Rose with the right wig?
Who could Chalamet, the tall, thin, native New Yorker with a messy mop of black hair play? Oh, right, how about literally all four member of the Ramones? We have both the prosthetics and the CGI capabilities. Chalamet has the range. Some director out there has to be crazy enough to attempt it (Jim Jarmusch? Todd Haynes?). Why not? If only as a notable experimental statement, it’s worth a try. Every young actor’s early career needs some weird, big swing.