Justin Timberlake is set to star in the indie drama Palmer from director Fisher Stevens, it was announced Thursday by SK Global.
The script was written by Cheryl Guerriero and appeared on the 2016 Black List of Hollywood’s best unproduced screenplays. Timberlake will play a former college football phenom who gets out of prison and returns to his hometown to get his life back on track. Not only is he confronted with lingering conflicts from his past, but he suddenly finds himself in charge of a unique young boy who has been abandoned by his wayward mother, and turns out to be the man’s most surprising challenge of all.
Charles B. Wessler, fresh off his Oscar win for Green Book, will produce alongside SK Global co-CEOs John Penotti and Charlie Corwin, as well as Sidney Kimmel and Daniel Nadler, who are co-financing the film. Production is slated to start later this year, marking Timberlake’s first live-action film since Woody Allen‘s 2017 drama Wonder Wheel.
“Justin and Fisher bring a resonant perspective to this emotional story. It is both timely and ultimately a hopeful, entertaining story about the resilience and power of human kindness,” Pennotti and Corwin said in a joint statement.
I have to admit, I’ve always liked watching Timberlake on the big screen, from great movies like The Social Network to not-so-great movies like Southland Tales to everything in between, like Alpha Dog. And David Fincher isn’t the only master he’s worked with, having starring in Clint Eastwood‘s Trouble with the Curve and the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis. But those were a few years ago, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if he was still looking to act. Palmer definitely represents something different for Timberlake, but he could prove to be perfect for this kind of material. Timberlake recently wrapped DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls World Tour, a sequel to the first Trolls movie, which grossed over $346 worldwide and earned Timberlake an Oscar nomination for his chart-topping original song “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”
Stevens won an Oscar as a producer on the 2010 documentary The Cove, and he previously directed both the Leonardo DiCaprio-produced documentary Before the Flood and the HBO documentary Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Stevens is also a well-known actor who can currently appears on Succession, and will soon be seen in Edward Norton‘s Motherless Brooklyn and Wes Anderson‘s The French Dispatch.
SK Global is the company behind the box office hit Crazy Rich Asians and the Best Picture nominee Hell or High Water, as well as Netflix’s Hindi-language series Delhi Crime, which was recently renewed for a second season.
Timberlake is represented by WME and LBI Entertainment, while Stevens is repped by CAA. Guerriero is managed by Heroes and Villains Entertainment.