Justin Timberlake is Probably Not an AMERICAN IDOL, But He Could Be I’M.MORTAL with Amanda Seyfried

     July 27, 2010


American Idol is by far our nation’s most popular television program, and has been for the better part of a decade.  Still, Justin Timberlake is probably a bit beyond the not-inconsiderable reach of the reality giant.  THR reported yesterday that Timberlake and Elton John are on Idol producer Simon Fuller’s wishlist for the fourth judge’s chair following Simon Cowell’s exit — can’t blame a guy for dreaming big.

Deadline followed up today, confirming with an insider that the possibility is “just silly” due to Mr. Timberlake’s busy schedule.  In addition to working on a new album, he’ll be promoting David Fincher’s highly anticipated Facebook pic The Social Network this fall, with the comedies Bad Teacher and Friends with Benefits on the horizon.  Oh, and he was offered the lead opposite Amanda Seyfried in Andrew Niccol’s I’m.Mortal.  That was worth one sentence in Deadline’s post, but you and I need to talk about this further after the jump.

justin_timberlake__1_As a Niccol devotee, I last wrote about my hopes for this movie when the delightful Seyfried was cast in the lead.  As a refesherer, here’s a plot outline via Variety:

Time has become the currency. The rich are immortal, while the rest struggle to stay alive.

When a rebel from the ghetto is falsely accused of murdering a wealthy man for his time, he is forced to go on the run with beautiful hostage (Seyfried).  Together, this duo rages against the system, living minute to minute.  They discover that love is more powerful than all the time in the world.

It sounds like I’m.Mortal will join Gattaca, The Truman Show, S1m0ne as evidence that a script from Niccol will never lack intrigue.  And I adore Seyfried — couldn’t be happier that she’s teaming with Niccol.

If he were to accept the reported offer, Timberlake would presumably play the Aladdin-esque main character.  I don’t know what the role calls for specifically, but Timberlake has not yet explicitly proven he is capable of anchoring a film that’s not 100% comedy.  (A film that is 100% comedy? Done.)

I think he’s earned the chance, though.  When I drop Timberlake next to Seyfried into my dreams for this movie (preferably sporting a lopsided grown-out blonde ‘fro worthy of a street rat), he’s certainly no hindrance.  Could even be an enhancement.

Timberlake’s future as an actor has a lot riding on The Social Network.  From his brief presence in the trailer, Timberlake’s portrayal of Napster kingpin Sean Parker seemed cartoonish by design.  But I imagine he’ll have a showcase for dramatic chops (Alpha Dog doesn’t count) in a David Fincher film.  Should he pull it off… well, would a Will Smith comparison be trite?

*I tried to work this Southland Tales clip into the writeup somehow, but failed.  Instead, here it is, with no real purpose.