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Justin Timberlake Signs On For First Big-Screen Acting Role

After nearly a year of reading scripts, Justin Timberlake has finally decided on his first feature-film role, and it’s not Jimmy Olsen. While rumors had the pop star taking on the role of the superhero’s pal in the upcoming “Superman” flick, that film still has no director or star, leaving Timberlake free to pursue another part.

Timberlake has signed on for his big-screen acting debut in the crime drama “Edison,” in which he’ll play Joshua Pollack, “a fresh-out-of-college kid with a counterculture bent” who gets his start by interning at a big-city newspaper, writer/director David Burke said.

The character is bright, but disdainful of doing grunt work, so the newspaper doesn’t invite him back. Instead, he finds work at a free community weekly. In the course of following little news stories about Little League and the local senior center, Timberlake’s character stumbles upon a very big story about corruption in high places in the city government.

He runs with the story, but ends up in serious jeopardy. Not knowing what to do and in over his head, he turns to the owner of the weekly, played by Morgan Freeman, someone he had dismissed as a nobody but who turns out to be a former war correspondent and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, albeit burnt-out and at the end of his career. Freeman’s character schools Timberlake’s, as he has all the tools, but none of the experience, to pursue the story.

“When [Timberlake’s character] first runs with the story, it’s all supposition,” Burke said. “Freeman tells him, ‘People don’t care what you think, they care what you know.’ ” The two characters also make an uneasy alliance with a special investigator from the district attorney’s office, played by Kevin Spacey. LL Cool J stars as well, as the newest member of an elite unit of policemen who is conflicted about joining the rogue cops in their practices.

To prepare for his role, Timberlake plans to shadow an actual print journalist to learn what daily news reporting is like. That arrangement should be made within the week, but is being kept confidential so that the reporter can still do his/her job without the added spotlight, “Edison” producer Randall Emmett said.

“Every studio has been after [Timberlake],” Emmett said. “We’re so lucky and so excited to have signed him.”

Production for “Edison” is scheduled to begin March 8 in Vancouver.

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