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Justin Timberlake to star in drama that sounds like 5 different heartwarming Oscar winners in one

Photo: Jamie McCarthy (Getty Images)

Although he’s spent the last few years mostly just hanging out in Trolls Town (with a brief stopover on, uh, Woody Allen Island), Justin Timberlake is apparently ready to get back into the acting-people-might-someday-give-him-a-non-Nickelodeon-branded-award-for game. Variety reports that the former Boo-Boo has signed on for the starring role in Cheryl Guerriero’s script Palmer, which Fisher Stevens is set to direct. 

Palmer was an entry on the 2016 Black List, i.e., the annual list of unproduced Hollywood scripts that inevitably sound more interesting than the movies that sometimes bother to get made from them. (With a few rare exceptions, like the borderline I, Tonya.) But really, the main takeaway here is just how many “inspirational” elements have been shoved into the plot of Palmer, which is about a former prisoner who returns to his hometown. Just in the very brief synopsis released today, we’ve got an underdog sports hero who’s also a criminal made good who’s also forming a found family with a “unique” young boy that he’s suddenly forced to take care of. That’s, like, five Best Picture winners in one! (It doesn’t help that the film is being produced by the same folks who made Green Book, who unfortunately seem to know exactly what the Academy voters want.)

Anyway, Timberlake is working on the project with Guerriero and Stevens, who—while still best known as an actor/cautionary tale for which sci-fi comedy roles/accents you probably shouldn’t let yourself get talked into—has also been directing movies for years, including the Leonardo DiCaprio-backed climate change doc Before The Flood.

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