Justin Timberlake is set to play an ex-con in Palmer, an upcoming drama film. Though he's appeared in a number of notable movies throughout his long career, Timberlake is better known for his more comedic performances.
In one of the pop star’s first roles, he shared the screen with Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey in the 2006 thriller Edison. More lighthearted portrayals would follow, including in Shrek 3, The Love Guru, as well as functioning as something close to comedic relief in David Fincher’s The Social Network. Despite being comfortable popping up in crime films or giving a supporting turn in a more somber story, Timberlake’s most memorable moments have remained on the funnier side of the spectrum. Whether it’s his appearances on SNL or his chemistry with Mila Kunis in Friends with Benefits, it’s fair to say that Timberlake isn’t widely regarded as a dramatic actor. His latest project could change that.
According to Variety, Timberlake will play the title character in Palmer. Directed by Fisher Stevens, the focus of the drama will be on Eddie Palmer. Once an undeniable force in the world of college football, Palmer ends up in prison. After serving his time, Palmer returns home but finds that the transition back to a normal life isn’t so easy. In addition to problems that remain from his past, the former football phenomenon faces the unexpected challenge of looking after a unique young boy who has been abandoned by an errant mother.
Speaking of Timberlake and Stevens, in a statement, producers John Penotti and Charlie Corwin complimented the duo for bringing resonance to an emotional story. The producers added that Palmer would be both timely and hopeful and, overall, a narrative about the power of human kindness. Production on the film is due to begin late in the fall, with the screenplay written by Cheryl Guerriero. Along with directing, Stevens is no stranger to appearing in front of the camera. Most recently, he had a guest role on The Good Fight and provided the voice of Scrap in Isle of Dogs.
As for Timberlake, the Grammy winner will return as Branch in the sequel to Trolls. For the song “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”,which was featured in the first film, Timberlake was nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards. Timberlake’s roots and legacy might ultimately be tied to the music industry but, with a dramatic leading role in Palmer, the performer has the chance to be appreciated by a whole new audience.