Justin Timberlake As The Iron Man? Sweet Heaven Say It Ain’t So

Well, it appears the end of the current era of Superhero genre movies is coming. At least if the report from MovieHole is true and singer… yes SINGER… not ACTOR, Justin Timberlake has been signed on to play the lead role in Iron Man.

If this is true (and I do emphasis IF), then once again some studio has decided to screw the fans. “Let’s not be faithful to the fans by giving them this character they’ve been waiting to see on screen played by a trained and experienced (not necessarily famous) actor… no, that would be too sensible. Let’s instead say to hell with the fans and stick some famous teen-idol singer in there who may attract more young girls to the theater!!! Yeah! Let’s do that! That’s so smart we deserve to pay ourselves more and increase ticket prices too!”

THIS… PISSES…. ME…. OFF! Fantastic actors like Sean Bean can’t get leading roles, but they’re going to give a role like Iron Man… a film I want to see… to Justin Timberlake? Stupidity at it’s finest. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with Timberlake, but this is ridiculous.

If the studios think having Timberlake is going to increase the drawing power of the film… then this little strategy is going to backfire on them. What demographic does Iron Man appeal to? Teenage girls? Ummmm… NO! Your target demographic is guys. Who does Timberlake appeal to? Guys? Ummmm… NO! He appeals to teenage girls (I realize I’m generalizing here, but it’s applicable in the circumstances). Teen girls generally won’t go to see Iron Man even with Timberlake in it, and all you’re going to do to your core demographic (Male comic fans) is tick them off. Not smart.

I don’t know. Am I overreacting here? Is it just me? Am I the only lunatic who thinks this is a slap in the face to comic genre fans who want to see this movie properly made?

UPDATE: Apparently FilmForce is reporting MovieHole was incorrect and the rumour isn’t true. Ahhhh… divine intervention must have steped in!**

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26 thoughts on “Justin Timberlake As The Iron Man? Sweet Heaven Say It Ain’t So

  1. Okay, for starters, I had HUGE issues with Cassavetes in the first place. All 3 people who saw “John Q” know it is possibly one of the worst films of all time. Nick had the polaroids on Denzel – there is no other explanation for his involvement. So, with that said, let’s address this Timberlake development. Flat out: I WILL BOYCOTT THIS MOVIE. “Iron Man” is one of the remaining A list properties in the Marvel universe. I can’t believe Avi Arad would let this happen to it. I don’t care what the reviews say (trust me, they won’t be good) – I’m not giving Justin Timberlake anymore money. ‘Nuff said.

  2. But wait, wait, wait!

    Aren’t we forgetting David Bowie in Labrynth?
    If any performance from a singer said Oscar I say to you, that was one. Ergo I have proven my point. Singers can be actors as easily as Bowie can wear tight leather pants.

    “You remind me of the babe.”

  3. Most actors want to be singers and most singers want to be actors. Most actors learnt singing at a drama / stage school and most singers also learnt acting. I do believe that the two can go hand in hand. As Todd said, Timberlake is trying to cut his teeth on smaller projects. He does seem to be a hard working, sensible and intellegent, and out of most of these singers that turn actors, I do feel he can cut it as an actor! (jesus when did I join the Timberlake appreciation society?!) Anyway, perhaps his fed up of Actors turning into pop-stars and wants his revenge!

    You guys speaking about Lock Stock, how much of it did North Americans understand? Snatch was toned down for World Wide audiences, but Lock Stock is a pure London Gangster film! Im from the area where it was set, so I had no probs, but I know people from the North of England that struggled with alot of the language!

  4. I love Sting in Lock Stock. His bit in Baron Munchausen, though brief, is also very good. And I can’t believe you’re saying Yoakum can’t act … he owns the screen every minute he’s on it in both Sling Blade and Panic Room, which is saying something considering the caliber of talent he’s up against.

    The reason I’m jumping on you on this one and not some of the other threads of this ilk is precisely because Timberlake is not coming at this ‘out of nowhere’. You haven’t had the chance to see Edison or Alpha Dog yet but an awful lot of industry people have, including Iron Man’s writer / director, who has already directed him once and who has shown himself to be a man who consistently makes good choices in both his writing and casting. Cassavetes is a very smart man who knows film making inside and out having grown up the child of a hugely acclaimed director and himself having acted in, written and directed majorly acclaimed works. Go check out Blow and She’s So Lovely and you’ll see why I’ll be shocked beyond words if he dumbs down Iron Man …

    The choice of Cassavetes as writer / director is right in keeping with the current trend of the good comic films coming from intelligent art film directors who also happen to be genre fans and I’m going to have to see something pretty substantive before Iron Man starts to give me the waves of creeping terror that I’m getting from the whole Fantastic Four fiasco …

  5. Ok Todd… we obviously see things differnetly here… which concerns me because generally you’re about 5x smarter than me… however….

    I think you’re equating being IN a great project as being Great in the project. Sting was not good in Lock Stock. It was a great movie… but that doesn’t mean the individual performances of every single performer in it was great. Ditto on most of the list.

    And once again… the whole Crowe, Drive, Spacey thing just proves my point even further. (see my last comment to Terry above)

    And it would “clearly” be a bad decision based on the fact that the VAST majority of times musical celebrities take on leading roles out of no where usually end up being a mistake… that’s what makes it a bad decision. That’s the track record.

    Like I’ve said a few times already… it COULD work… but the history of these kinds of moves say the chances are slim, and therefore ill advised. Just my opinion.

    Then again… who am I to bet against any man sleeping with Cameron Diaz.

  6. “So I’m not being critical of Timberlake at all. But I am critical of anyone who would make a decision like this… because it would have clearly been a poor one.”

    How is that clear? You’ve never seen what he’s capable of. Cassavetes has. I think he’s got a much clearer idea of what the guy’s capable of than you do.

    Jagger, Bowie, Sting, Ice Cube, Billy Ray Cyrus and Dwight Yoakum have all been excellent in different roles. Go rent Lock Stock, Three Kings, Barbershop, Mulholland Drive, Sling Blade and Panic Room. The Jagger and Bowie examples have all been given already …

    Good call on Russell Crowe and Minnie Driver, David … I’d forgotten about them. Add Kevin Bacon to the list, as well.

  7. Hey David.

    I see where you’re coming from… but you really just proved my point.

    People like Driver, Crowe, and Spacey all had years and years of acting and training under their belts BEFORE getting handed any major leading roles. I think any Musical star has the chance to be great actors is they follow in their footsteps.

    And I certainly don’t mean to be critical of Timberlake at all. I’m critical of Directors, Producers and Casting agents who put these untrained, inexperienced people in leading roles for no other reason than they’re famous.

    Think of it in terms of a sports analogy. Take American football for instance. It’s only the third quarter and a coach decides to go for a field goal from 70 yards away. That’s just dumb! I’m not critical of the kicker. I’m critical of the coach!

    Yes, in that analogy there is a CHANCE that the decisions will work. Perhaps it’s even worked a couple of times in the past. But when history shows that the VAST majority of the time these decisions do not work, then it’s a bone head move to go out and try it… especially when there is no need to.

    In a situation like this one, there is no need to hand a role like Iron Man, a film that a lot of people are looking forward to seeing, to a guy who has been acting for all of what? A year maybe?

    Is there a chance a move like that could work? Yes, absolutly. However, history has shown that the VAST majority of the time these kinds of things DO NOT work. Period.

    So I’m not being critical of Timberlake at all. But I am critical of anyone who would make a decision like this… because it would have clearly been a poor one.

    Could Timberlake work out as Iron Man. Sure, there’s always a slim chance an experiment like that would work. But don’t use me as an audience member or Iron Man as your guienne Pigs… because most of the rodents in those experiments die.


  8. I think it is unfair of you John to judge a film or a performer without even seeing the film. I will agree there have been some terrible performances by singers who have turned their hand to acting (Spice Girls anyone?). There has also been terrible performances when actors have a crack at singing. But surely the same can be said for most things? Comedians turn actors, TV performers turned film actors, sports stars turned actors etc etc. There are examples of good and bad in each of these crossovers! Many of the biggest acting names, both around today and from the past, didn’t start life as or train as actors. Even within the acting profession itself, when actors change the style of film / stage performances they do from say, for example, action to romantic comedies, there have been some truely awful performances. But there have been some great ones to.

    Minnie Driver, Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrel (He apparantly was suicidal when he wasnt excepted into Boyzone!), Jack Black all persude careers in music / pop before becoming the big Hollywood names they are today. I say, judge every performer on their performance. You’re being a tad unfair I think John.

  9. Oh come on Todd… Ice Cube was brilliant in three Kings? PLEASE! He was carried, and just got by. Except for Ali (which even I admit he did a fine job in) Will Smith has just played Will Smith in just about every role. Chris Thomas King didn’t do any acting in O Brother, Chris Isaac doesn’t do any acting in his show.

    Come on man, you know better than most people that there’s a difference between being IN a recognizable property and being a force behind it.

    And I have to disagree with you as far as the video angle goes. Any monkey with one eye can learn in 15 minutes how to hit a mark and say a line. Being an actor is a lot more than that.

    And talent without experience is messy. Let me throw some other names your way (forgive the spelling, I’m too tiered to spell check right now):

    -Mick Jagar
    -David Bowie
    -Britney Spears
    -Hillary Duff
    -Ice Tea
    -Ice Cube (Yeah I know you used that one too)
    -Reba McIntire (Funny in Tremors, but that wasn’t exactly Caesar she was performing in)

    -Cyndi Lauper
    -Lauryn Hill
    -Ja Rule
    -Billy Ray Cirus
    -Dwight Yokham

    Blah… i can’t think of any more off the top of my head.

    But like I conceded, there are exceptions. Whalberg, Cheer on occasion, Will Smith is a stretch… but I’ll agree.

    Overall I still think it’s a bad trend. Singer wants to be an actor? Fine, quit music for at least a year, get a coach and go join a stage company for a while. Then lets see what you’ve got. Otherwise, stay out of the movies and let people who have spent their lives learning, developing and perfecting the craft… and let me whatch a better movie because of it.

    Once again, just my point of view… it’s all subjective.

  10. Oh, come on John … Lopez has made nothing but middling to bad films since, but she was amazing in Out of Sight and Sinatra, when he chose to apply himself, was a damn fine actor. And I can’t believe I left Wahlberg off my list … he’s incredible in I Heart Huckabees. Donnie Wahlberg’s no slouch either. Will Smith has made the jump successfully as well with just a single little indie film under his belt before moving into the big stuff. Ice Cube is fantastic in Three Kings. Chris Isaac on his own show and mucking about with David Lynch. Chris Thomas King (the black guy in O Brother Where Art Thou) is primarily a blues musician, and a damn good one. These are all just off the top of my head, man … there are loads more out there if I start doing some research … and don’t make me bring up Streisand or Hasselhoff …

    And for the record Timberlake *IS* cutting his teeth in smaller roles right now … those would be Edison and Alpha Dog, both of which he has support roles in.

    I’m not saying there aren’t people who make the move and can’t pull it off, I’m just saying lots do it and do it well. In this case the writer / director for Iron Man has just finished working with Timberlake on another project and, since I’ve been impressed by everything I’ve seen with Cassavetes’ name on it thus far, I’m fairly inclined to think he’s got a good read on the situation.

    In the video age all of these pop stars have stacks of experience in the technical end of film making … most big music videos have budgets comparable to an independent film, and accompanying production values. They know how to hit their marks, repeat a performance, etc etc etc because they’ve done all that before. The only question is whether they can carry a character, which is a matter of talent more than experience …

  11. My first reaction to this was utter horror, but now that the update has been posted I can breath a little easier.

    Timeberlake aside, the role of Iron Man really needs to go to someone in their early to mid-thirties, IMHO. Timberlake may be a great actor, but he’s practically a teenager!

    Alter Ego Comics

  12. Lopez was not very good in Out of Sight, it was just a really good movie. Sinatra won Oscars because… well… he was Sinatra. They would have given him the Stanley Cup if he had asked for it.

    No, for the vast majority of singers who try to just step into film roles… they suck huge.

    HOWEVER… there are always exceptions to the rule. Mark Whalberg is ok for instance. But they are they rare exception. Few and far between.

    I don’t mind a change of career. But when these people just try to step right into “movie star” status without cutting their teeth on stage or smaller projects for a while first to learn the craft and develop their gifts… it usually spells disaster. At least that’s been my limited viewing experience.

    Meh, but that’s just my take on things. It’s all subjective.

  13. Timberlake’s received nothing but positive buzz from Edison … apparently he’s actually quite good in it. He’s apparently very good in Alpha Dog, as well.

    If this happens it’ll be because the director of Iron Man is also directing Timberlake in Alpha Dog … Cassavetes is a smart man, an excellent writer with a strong respect for character, and a very experienced actor himself. If he sees something in Timberlake that makes him think he can pull the role off I’m going to withhold judgement until I see footage that says otherwise …

    As for singers making the move into acting, there are hosts of them that have done admirably well. When you take a longer view of things it’s only been relatively recently that we started seperating the ‘actors’ from the ‘singers’ … for decades people were simply ‘entertainers’, a situation which still exists in most of the world – Asian film in particular is almost entirely stocked with film stars who are also major pop stars.

    Sinatra won Oscars, Cher’s won an Oscar. Though she takes really annoying roles these days Jennifer Lopez proved she’s got some serious acting chops with Out of Sight. To trot out one of your favorites Johnny Depp only started acting on the side to pay his bills while he tried to make it in a rock band – he was a solid decade into his career before he started considering himself an actor. One of the guys from Springsteen’s band stars in The Sopranos. There are loads of people who do both and do them well … they should be judged on their merits as performers NOT on their previous occupation.

  14. you know, i am fairly certain there is a special part of hell reserved for people who make descision like this.

    How could they ruin iron man like this? I am fairly certain it was always iron man, and not big flaming piece of dog crap man.

    I demand justice!!

    as for you ben, stop your bad mouthing of sean bean immediatly!

    incidently, has anyone heard any word on ghost rider? now there is a superhero movie i could be on board with, a motorcycle riding skeleton with a flaming head who kicks people’s asses with chains…how could that lose? unless they somehow cast nick lachey as him or somehitng…oh god…i should not of opened my big dumb mouth…

  15. I’m 100% with you John. I hope they don’t go this route b/c I can just imagine the catastrophe the film would be. “Tony Stark, teenage millionaire” Yeah, thanks but no thanks. And as far as cast saying good things about each other, I’ve seen behind the scenes featurettes from movies where everone is saying nice things but you can teel just by their reactions to each other that they hated the experience. It’s just good marketing to put a spin. I’ve never heard an actor say “I didn’t like working with so and so”.

  16. Pop singers in the movies? Oy vey.

    Some pop singers have done reasonably well in at least some films. David Bowie was very good in THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, but then there’s LABYRINTH (ouch!)… Mick Jagger was good as the henchman in FREEJACK, and GENE SIMMONS chewed the scenery in RUNAWAY. And who can forget Meat Loaf in FIGHT CLUB? “We are still men!”

    Madonna, on the other hand…

  17. Oh yes, that’s a given, or, the actors giving their glowing reviews with co-actors can reverse their comments and maybe even tell the public how horrible the other actor’s performance was and that is still publicity, it will still sell a movie.

    Like you perhaps, I have always had reservations for singers becoming thespians. Going to Iron Man, who did you have in mind to play the role by the way?

  18. Obviously Kevin Spacey is going to say good things about him… you HAVE TO. It would kill the marketing of a film if one star said about the other “he’s no good”. Who would go to see the movie then?

    How many times have we all seen on-the-set interviews of actors talking about the other actors as being “wonderful” and “great”… and then after the movie leaves the theater we hear totally different stories.

    I could be wrong… but I’m not holding my breath.

  19. Kevin Spacey is working with Justin Timberlake in the film “Edison” and he only had praises for his young, inexperienced co-star.

    Now, I can understand your reaction, but IMHO, if someone like Spacey, who has had years of experience performing on stage and on film actually thinks and believe that Timberlake can pull acting off, then maybe he can.

    As for Timberlake starring in this movie, which you might feel is better off given to another capable actor, I really dont know how to react but I can only sympathize.

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