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15 Most-Anticipated Upcoming Biopic Movies: Amy Winehouse, Richard Simmons

Movie Biopics on the Way: Timothée Chalamet as Bob Dylan, Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump, Selena Gomez as Linda Ronstadt and More
Movie Biopics on the Way: Timothée Chalamet as Bob Dylan, Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump, Selena Gomez as Linda Ronstadt and More

The biographical drama, or biopic as it is widely known, is often a staple of the movie release calendar. Paramount Pictures already has one of the year’s big hits thanks to its Bob Marley biopic “One Love,” featuring Kingsley Ben-Adir as the reggae music icon, which has earned more than $170 million at the worldwide box office. And that’s not the only biopic that has already opened in 2024: “Shirley,” starring Regina King as Shirley Chisholm, is now streaming on Netflix, and Angel Studios was behind the eponymous biopic about Catholic missionary Francesca Cabrini, which is nearing $20 million worldwide.

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Of course, one of the biggest movies of last year was Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.” The Robert Oppenheimer drama earned nearly $1 billion at the worldwide box office and won the Oscar for best picture, although Nolan himself would not call it a biopic. The genre can be a box office goldmine, and it can also be an awards season juggernaut. Just look at some of the recent best actor Oscar winners: Cillian Murphy for “Oppenheimer,” Will Smith for “King Richard,” Rami Malek for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Gary Oldman for “Darkest Hour.” All of these movies were biopics.

The biopic genre isn’t slowing down anytime soon either. Timothée Chalamet has been making headlines left and right as set photos come in from the filming of “A Complete Unknown,” the Bob Dylan biopic being directed by “Walk the Line” helmer James Mangold. See the list below for a complete rundown of the most high-profile biopic movies on the way.

Timothée Chalamet as Bob Dylan

Timothée Chalamet as Bob Dylan
Timothée Chalamet as Bob Dylan


Timothée Chalamet is traveling back to the early 1960s to portray Bob Dylan in James Mangold’s “A Complete Unknown,” which will chronicle the music legend’s arrival to New York from Minnesota and his emergence in and disruption of the Greenwich Village folk scene. Photos of Chalamet draped in ’60s garb during the production of the movie have gone viral online, despite the release date for the Dylan film remaining a complete unknown. What is known is many of the supporting cast members, including Monica Barbaro as Joan Baez, Elle Fanning as Sylvie Russo, Edward Norton as Pete Seeger, Boyd Holbrook as Johnny Cash and Nick Offerman as Alan Lomax. Dylan himself is also apparently involved behind the scenes, as Mangold revealed he personally annotated the script and has been supportive of the film.

Jeremy Allen White as Bruce Springsteen

Jeremy Allen White as Bruce Springsteen
Jeremy Allen White as Bruce Springsteen


While no deals are set in stone yet, “The Bear” star Jeremy Allen White is in talks to play Bruce Springsteen in a movie about the making of “Nebraska,” the stripped-down 1982 album that marked a new artistic direction for the Boss. Springsteen recorded “Nebraska” on four-track cassette in his New Jersey bedroom a few years before he and the E Street Band would release the landmark “Born in the U.S.A.” The film is based on (and shares a title with) Warren Zanes’ 2023 book “Deliver Me From Nowhere,” and it hails from producers Eric Robinson and Ellen Goldsmith-Vein of the Gotham Group. A24 is also in talks to board the project, and Scott Stuber, in his first major film project since leaving his post as head of film at Netflix, has joined as a producer.

Selena Gomez as Linda Ronstadt

Selena Gomez as Linda Ronstadt
Selena Gomez as Linda Ronstadt


Selena Gomez is set to portray Linda Ronstadt in a biopic directed by David O. Russell. The music movie is currently in pre-production, with producers including James Keach, who produced the 2019 documentary “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” and Ronstadt’s manager, John Boylan. Gomez, whose acting credits include “Wizards of Waverly Place” and “Only Murders in the Building,” teased the role on Instagram by posting a photo of the country-rock legend and 11-time Grammy winner’s 2013 memoir “Simple Dreams.” No other casting has been announced.

Four Beatles Biopics Directed by Sam Mendes

Four Beatles Biopics Directed by Sam Mendes
Four Beatles Biopics Directed by Sam Mendes


Sam Mendes has embarked on the long and winding road to telling the epic story of the Beatles — in four separate biopics set for release in 2027. Each movie will be told from a different Beatle’s point of view, but it’s unclear in which order the Paul, John, George and Ringo films will be released. The movies, from Sony Pictures and the Oscar-nominated director of “American Beauty” and “1917,” will intersect to “tell the astonishing story of the greatest band in history.” Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the families of the late John Lennon and George Harrison have granted full life story and music rights for the scripted films, so we can expect a soundtrack of the band’s greatest songs. No casting has been announced, but Variety has a few ideas for who should portray the Fab Four.

Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump

Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump
Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump


Sebastian Stan is playing young Donald Trump in a movie titled “The Apprentice” from Iranian filmmaker Ali Abbasi (“Holy Spider”). The cast also includes “Succession” Emmy winner Jeremy Strong as Roy Cohn and “Borat 2” and “Bodies Bodies Bodies” actor Maria Bakalova as Ivana Trump. According to the logline, the film is “an exploration of power and ambition set in a world of corruption and deceit. It’s a mentor-protege story that charts the origins of an American dynasty. Filled with larger than life characters, it reveals the moral and human cost of a culture defined by winners and losers.”

Pauly Shore as Richard Simmons

Pauly Shore as Richard Simmons
Pauly Shore as Richard Simmons


After playing Richard Simmons in an unrelated Sundance short film titled “The Court Jester,” Pauly Shore will reprise the role of the fitness icon in a feature-length biopic from Warner Bros. subsidiary The Wolper Organization. Just hours after the film was announced, the reclusive Simmons disavowed the project on Facebook, writing, “I have never given my permission for this movie. So don’t believe everything you read.” Still, the team behind the movie insists, “We respect his desire to privacy and plan to produce a movie that honors him, celebrates him and tells a dramatic story.” Additional casting for the movie is underway.

Jaafar Jackson as Michael Jackson

Jaafar Jackson as Michael Jackson
Jaafar Jackson as Michael Jackson


Jaafar Jackson is portraying his uncle Michael Jackson in Lionsgate‘s upcoming biopic “Michael,” directed by Antoine Fuqua. The biopic is expected to depict the complicated legacy of the man who became known as the King of Pop. According to the studio, the film will explore all aspects of his life, “including his most iconic performances that led him to become the greatest entertainer of all time.” The film is being made with the cooperation of the Michael Jackson estate. The supporting cast includes Colman Domingo as Joe Jackson, Nia Long as Katherine Jackson, Miles Teller as John Branca and Kat Graham as Diana Ross, among others.

Elon Musk Biopic Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Elon Musk Biopic Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Elon Musk Biopic Directed by Darren Aronofsky


An Elon Musk biopic is in development at A24 with Darren Aronofsky on board to direct. Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of the controversial tech mogul, published in September 2023, is serving as the basis for the screenplay. Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs” book was previously adapted into the 2015 Universal film of the same name, starring Michael Fassbender as the Apple CEO. Musk addressed the news on X when it was announced by writing in response: “Glad Darren is doing it. He is one of the best.”

Angelina Jolie as Maria Callas

Angelina Jolie as Maria Callas 
Angelina Jolie as Maria Callas


Angelina Jolie is transforming into legendary opera singer Maria Callas in the latest biopic from “Jackie” and “Spencer” director Pablo Larraín. The movie will “explore the life of the legendary, iconic and controversial singer, often described as the original diva,” according to its official description. “Based on true accounts, ‘Maria’ tells the tumultuous, beautiful and tragic story of the life of the world’s greatest opera singer, relived and re-imagined during her final days in 1970s Paris.”

Jolie’s costumes will be based on real garments worn by Callas, including vintage fur items from Massimo Cantini Parrini’s archive collection, on which the crew consulted with PETA in order to not use any new fur.

Daisy Edgar-Jones as Carole King

Daisy Edgar-Jones as Carole King
Daisy Edgar-Jones as Carole King


Daisy Edgar-Jones is playing Carole King in Sony’s upcoming film adaptation of the stage musical “Beautiful.” The “Normal People” star and upcoming “Twisters” actor is familiar to Sony, having starred in the studio’s box office winner “Where the Crawdads Sing.” She will be directed in “Beautiful” by Academy Award nominee Lisa Cholodenko (“The Kids Are All Right”). Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, who co-wrote “Kids Are All Right” together, are behind the script.

“Daisy has a spirit and energy that I recognized as myself when I was younger. She’s a tremendous talent and I know she’s going to give a great performance,” King told Variety.

Tom Holland as Fred Astaire

Tom Holland as Fred Astaire
Tom Holland as Fred Astaire


“Spider-Man” star Tom Holland has long been attached to a biopic on the legendary actor, dancer and singer Fred Astaire for Sony Pictures, the studio where Holland has made a name for herself as the world’s most iconic web-slinger. The actor is already a trained tap dancer.

“Fred Astaire does have a very particular style,” Holland told Variety shortly after the project was first announced. “‘Billy Elliot’ was very much a kind of like scuffy boot kind of tap dancer whereas he is very elegant and graceful so I’ll probably have to learn how to do that. But it’s something I’m gonna practice, something I’m very excited for and I think it will be a fantastic film.”

Billy Porter as James Baldwin

Billy Porter as James Baldwin
Billy Porter as James Baldwin


Billy Porter is preparing to portray the author and civil rights activist James Baldwin in an upcoming biopic. He will also co-write the untitled movie with Dan McCabe, which will be adapted from the 1994 book “James Baldwin: A Biography” by David Leeming. An emeritus professor of English at the University of Connecticut, Leeming was well-versed in the world of Baldwin as his friend of 25 years as well as his assistant.

Porter says it has been a career-long dream to tell the story of Baldwin on film. Born in Harlem in 1924, Baldwin was a Black gay writer whose influential works include “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” “Notes of a Native Son” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.” In addition to writing, Baldwin fought for racial justice in the U.S. civil rights movement. In Leeming’s book, he’s described as a “complex, troubled, driven and brilliant man” who has a “gift for compassion and love.”

Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse

Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse
Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse


Starring “Industry” actor Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse and directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson (“Nowhere Boy,” “Fifty Shades of Grey”), the upcoming music biopic “Back to Black” tracks career highs and lows of the music icon.

“‘Back to Black’ is a never-before-seen glimpse into Amy Winehouse’s early rise to fame and the release of her groundbreaking studio album, ‘Back to Black,” the logline reads. “Told from Amy’s perspective, the film is an unapologetic look at the woman behind the phenomenon and the relationship that inspired one of the most legendary albums of all time.”

Hari Nef as Candy Darling

Hari Nef as Candy Darling
Hari Nef as Candy Darling


“Barbie” and “Transparent” star Hari Nef is playing Andy Warhol superstar Candy Darling in a biopic directed by Zachary Drucker. John Cameron Mitchell is also attached to the untitled film about the transgender icon as executive producer. The film traces Darling’s childhood in Long Island through her years alongside underground icons Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis in Warhol’s Factory scene, and her influence on musicians including Lou Reed, the Velvet Underground and Patti Smith. She was immortalized in popular songs including Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” and The Velvet Underground’s “Candy Says.”

Colman Domingo as Nat King Cole

Colman Domingo as Nat King Cole
Colman Domingo as Nat King Cole


Oscar nominee Colman Domingo will be starring as the legendary singer Nat King Cole in a movie musical from a script he co-wrote. He will also be making his feature directing debut on the project. This isn’t Domingo’s first rodeo with Cole, as he co-wrote the play “Lights Out: Nat ‘King’ Cole” with Patricia McGregor that premiered at the Geffen Playhouse. That interpretation imagines what might have been going through the singer’s mind during his 1957 Christmas special on “The Nat King Cole Show,” the first network program hosted by an African American.

“I’ve been working on it quietly for a few years,” Domingo said during Variety Awards Circuit Podcast episode earlier this year. “It’s something I’m looking forward to putting together with some great partners.”

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