Justin Timberlake will not only voice one of the characters in DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls, the musician and actor also has signed on to write and perform original music for the film.
Timberlake, who has notched 16 top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, will serve as executive music producer for Trolls, overseeing the creative direction for the film’s music as well as performing several songs on the soundtrack. He’s also voicing the character Branch, a hilariously hardcore survivalist who hides his surprising true colors.
“I have always envisioned bringing the two worlds of film and music together for one epic event [and] couldn’t be more excited that they will collide in DreamWorks’ Trolls,” says Timberlake. “This film is very special, the music is going to be very special and I can’t wait for everyone to experience it all.”
The comedy, which also stars the voice of Anna Kendrick, follows two of the iconic Trolls, Branch and Princess Poppy, as they set off on an epic adventure. Fox has set the film for release on Nov. 4, 2016.
Directed by Mike Mitchell and co-directed by Walt Dohrn, the duo behind Shrek Forever After, the film based on the iconic dolls is produced by Gina Shay, also a Shrek Forever After alum.
“Justin is an amazingly versatile artist and producer whose unprecedented creative talents provide a unique voice and sound for our movie,” said DreamWorks Animation’s co-presidents of feature animation Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria. “Trolls is a comedy with fantastic music at its core and we can’t think of a more perfect artist to elevate this soundtrack to incredible heights.”
Timberlake, a nine-time Grammy and four-time Emmy Award winner, hasn’t released new original music since The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2, which came out on Sept. 30, 2013. With this move, Timberlake follows in the footsteps of Pharrell Williams, who produced both the Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 soundtracks (the latter included the breakout hit “Happy,” which spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100) and will.i.am, who worked on the Rio and Rio 2 soundtracks.
The musician also has been building up his acting resume over the past few years, including roles in The Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, Runner Runner with Ben Affleck and David Fincher’s The Social Network. He is repped by WME, LBI Entertainment and Wright Entertainment Group.
Troll dolls became a hit toy in the 1960s after they were created by Danish fisherman Thomas Dam. The colorful-haired toy had a resurgence in the 1990s, and in 2013 Dreamworks Animation acquired the film rights from the Dam family.