EXCLUSIVE: Justin Timberlake has signed on to star in the feature Spinning Gold, a biopic of famous 1970s record producer Neil Bogart, co-founder of Casablanca Records. Timberlake will also make his debut as a feature producer on the movie, which hails from Boardwalk Films, a division of indie media company Boardwalk Entertainment Group recently launched by Bogart’s sons — writer-producer-director Timothy Scott Bogart and songwriter and music publisher Evan “Kidd” Bogart — as well as TV producer Gary Randall. The three will produce Spinning Gold with Timberlake, with the actor-singer’s manager Rick Yorn executive producing.
The film, written by Tim Bogart, tells the rags-to-riches story of Neil Bogart, a dirt-poor Jewish kid from Brooklyn who went on to become a multimillionaire and help define 1970s pop culture with his Casablanca label that launched the careers of such superstars as KISS, Parliament, Donna Summer, and The Village People. “This is saga about a young dreamer who started with nothing and came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, believing anything was possible and every risk was worth taking,” said Tim Bogart, noting that Spinning Gold has been “literally three decades in the making.” The main issue had been finding an actor who would embody Bogart. Neil Bogart died of cancer in 1982 at age 39, so “we needed an young actor who can carry this picture,” Tim Bogart said. Someone suggested Timberlake, and the producers set up a meeting with him. “When Justin walked into the room, that was the moment I had been waiting for 29 years,” Tim Bogart said. “He has the exact same energy as my father, the same glimmer in his eye.” The movie will be independently financed but with a major studio-size budget, Tim Bogart said. Talks are underway with potential directors, and production is targeted to begin before the end of 2012. Additionally, Boardwalk Records plans to produce an album in conjunction with the movie.