Bob Dylan is attempting to block the release of a biopic of Sixties icon Edie Sedgewick in a row over his role in the pop icon’s death.
Sedgwick, one of Andy Warhol‘s New York Factory hipsters, died aged just 28 from an overdose of barbituates in 1971. It is thought that the film, ‘Factory Girl’, implies that the legend’s behaviour towards his rumoured former lover was indirectly responsible for her suicide.
In the movie, Sedgewick is played by British actress Sienna Miller, while a character said to be based on Dylan is played by Hayden Christensen, best known for playing Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in the ‘Star Wars’ prequels.
According to today’s (December 31) edition of The Observer, Dylan has written to the producers of the movie, demanding that the film not be released until he has established whether or not the defamation claims are true.
Sedgwick befriended Dylan in the late-60s and the pair are long believed to have had an affair. It’s also been rumoured that two of Dylan‘s most famous songs, ‘Just Like A Woman’ and ‘Like A Rolling Stone’, are about the tragic star.
While ‘Factory Girl’ is reported to detail the pair’s break-up the film does not actually mention Dylan by name.
Orin Snyder, the singer’s lawyer, claims the original script did name Dylan. The final version changes the name of his character to Danny Quinn.
Speaking to the New York Post, Snyder stated: “You appear to be labouring under the misunderstanding that merely changing the name of a character or making him a purported fictional composite will immunise you from a suit. That is not so.
“Even though Mr Dylan‘s name is not used, the portrayal remains both defamatory and a violation of Mr Dylan‘s right of publicity. Until we are given an opportunity to view the film, we hereby demand that all distribution and screenings immediately be ceased.”
The film is set for release in the UK in February, though its US opening has been postponed, with reports that it had disappointed at test screenings.