Bob Dylan seems to be relishing his role as Favourite Elderly Wank Fantasy Of Middle-Aged Rock Critics, because it's giving him the chance to speak out on anything he wants to, like how unutterably rubbish the new Sienna Miller film Factor Girl looks.
To be fair to Bob Dylan, he isn't angry at Factory Girl because it looks like the most horribly ill-conceived and transparent attempt at an Oscar-worthy film that's been made in years, or because all sensible people would rather staple their eyes closed and run through a minefield than watch a Sienna Miller film. Instead, Bob Dylan is angry because there's a character in the forthcoming movie played by Hayden Christensen who a) is very obviously meant to be Bob Dylan and b) is indirectly responsible for the main character's suicide. And Bob Dylan is so angry with Factory Girl that he wants to stop the film being released at all.
Bob Dylan hasn't been as popular as he is now for decades. His last record went to number one around the world, he's got his very own Bob Dylan radio show and his old poems sell for thousands of dollars at auction. This new position of fame means that Bob Dylan can do whatever the hell he wants, like slag off all modern music – and even try to get major films blocked. Factory Girl – a biopic of Andy Warhol's favourite drug-twatted party ninny Edie Sedgwick – is supposed to be coming out at the end of the month, but not if Bob Dylan gets his way.
In real life, Bob Dylan and Edie Sedgwick are thought to have had some kind of affair. But in Factory Girl, Edie Sedgwick tops herself on drugs after breaking up with Danny Quinn, a character who couldn't be any more like Bob Dylan if a character based on Martin Scorsese followed him around licking his arse all the time. And as far as Bob Dylan is concerned, that's defamation. Dylan's lawyer Orin Snyderr says:
"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."
Shame Bob Dylan didn't use this right to block a release when he let someone make a modern dance-interpreted musical based on his songs too, really. There hasn't been an official response from the makers of Factory Girl, but we'd imagine that Hayden Christensen – who plays the Bob Dylan character – would probably respond by looking at the sky and shouting "Nooooooo!" because he was in a film where he did that once.
For a supposedly Oscar-worthy movie, Factory Girl isn't having the best of times. As well as potentially being stomped into dust by Bob Dylan's mighty boot, Lou Reed – who is played by one of Weezer in Factory Girl – has given this review to The New York Daily News:
"I read that script. It's one of the most disgusting, foul things I've seen – by any illiterate retard – in a long time."