By Simon Dang | The Playlist October 29, 2011 at 2:56AM
If you were gearing up to make a film based on the '60s folk scene, or any music-based film for that matter, why not recruit one of the most popular musician-turned-actors of recent times?
Variety is now reporting that Justin Timberlake has been offered a leading role in the Coen brothers' latest pic "Inside Llewyn Davis," which currently stars Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan in the story of a "struggling folk musician born and bred in Queens who, despite being a talented singer and guitarist, just can't seem to make ends meet playing music."
Should he accept (and really, why wouldn't he? this will be the highlight of his film career outside of Fincher), Timberlake will take on the role of Jim, a folk musician married to Mulligan's Jean character. Will the couple act as surrogates for other real life musicians? The titular role of Davis (which Isaac will play) was previously noted to be loosely based on Dave van Ronk, an American folk singer who presided over the '60s Greenwich Village scene, which gave birth to a new wave of artists that included Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Joni Mitchell.
So far, the Coens seem to be wisely recruiting with musical ability in mind as well as acting chops: Isaac is an accomplished musician soon to be seen performing his own track "Never Had" in Jamie Linden's "Ten Year" (before he became an actor he fronted the band The Blinking Underdogs), while Mulligan is a similarly gifted thesp who is still loosely attached to star in the long-gestating remake of "My Fair Lady" and delivered a memorable performance of "New York, New York" in Steve McQueen's upcoming drama "Shame."
Shooting on the project will take place in New York early in 2012 with what is shaping to be the freshest and youngest cast the Coens have ever worked with.