Justin Timberlake makes return to acting in the upcoming AppleTV+ drama Palmer, in which he plays an ex-con who finds his moral center while taking care of a young man who’s been abandoned by his mother (Ryder Allen).
The moving trailer, which premiered on People on Thursday (Dec. 17), shows Timberlake’s former high school football star Eddie Palmer comforting the child after a rough day, telling him, “kids are mean, especially when they see something that they ain’t used to seeing.”
The film, due Jan. 29, was directed by Fisher Stevens (Before the Flood, Stand Up Guys) and also stars Alisha Wainwright, June Squibb and Juno Temple.
Fisher told People he sees the film written by Cheryl Guerriero (Hunting Season) as a story about “acceptance, forgiveness and love… Two people who ordinarily would never come together, find themselves under one roof to find the family they never had,” he said. “For me the story strikes a very personal chord and I was so lucky to have gotten to work with Justin Timberlake who along with newcomer Ryder Allen, and the whole amazing cast bring this beautiful story to life.”
In the singer’s first major role since 2017’s poorly-received Woody Allen film Wonder Wheel, Timberlake leans into his Southern accent as he tries to accept Sam for who he is while attempting to rebuild his own life in the face of opposition from those who think he’s not cut out to care for a child. “The truth is I haven’t felt like I was good at anything… until Sam,” Timberlake says in the first look.
Watch the Palmer trailer below.