I haven’t seen enough of his acting to really weigh in with an educated opinion on Justin Timberlake, but to paraphrase Howard Stern, I don’t see where this guy’s so scary talented.
Still, the fact that he’s now slated to play Neil Bogart, and that the life of the legendary head of Casablanca Records may finally be coming to the big screen, is definitely exciting news.
For those who don’t know the legend of Bogart, he was the famously flashy and flamboyant founder of Casablanaca, the label that had Kiss, The Village People, and Donna Summer at the peak of the ‘70’s disco era.
Bogart was a legendary character of the music business, and like the bands he signed to his label he was larger than life and over the top.
The book Hit Men has an entire chapter dedicated to Casablanca, and those who worked there described it as a cocaine and quaalude fueled Disneyland, where a waitress took your drug order for the day, and music pounded loudly out of enormous PA speakers.
Bogart died young, at the age of 39 in 1982, and Casablanca the company crashed and burned with the end of disco.
There’s been talk and speculation about bringing his life story to the silver screen for years, including interest from Gene Simmons, and now it looks like with Timberlake it may finally happen.
As Deadline reports, Bogart’s sons Timothy and Evan are spearheading the film, and Timberlake will produce through Boardwalk Entertainment Group, a company Neil’s kids have recently opened for business.
(Boardwalk was Neil’s last label before he died, and he was able to get one more hit single out into the world before he passed, Joan Jett’s I Love Rock N Roll.)
The ‘70’s disco era is a hell of a canvas to make a movie, yet no one’s done it successfully yet. (Miramax really blew a huge opportunity in this regard with their Studio 54 film.) If this film is done right, it could make a hell of a wild, colorful epic, and the soundtrack possibilities are pretty amazing to think of as well.
Not to give anyone backseat directions here, but like Bogart himself, this film should be wild, over the top, drug fueled, loud, and bigger than life, 'cause he wouldn’t have had it any other way.