Trolls is DreamWorks Animation’s second film for 2016 that will serve as a re-imagination of the once-popular Thomas Dam brand of toy dolls (a brand now wholly owned by DWA). While the spotlight has mostly been on Kung Fu Panda 3 for quite some time, news has now surfaced on who will play the male lead (hint: it won’t be Jason Schwartzman).
Deadline broke the news today that actor and singer Justin Timberlake has joined the cast of Trolls as the male lead, voicing a character named Branch. He takes the role opposite Anna Kendrick, who voices the female lead role of Princess Poppy.
Branch is described as “a hilariously hardcore survivalist who hides his surprising true colors.” This will be Justin’s third voice role, following prior turns as Boo Boo in Warner Bros’ CG/Live-Action hybrid adaptation of Yogi Bear and Arthur Pendragon in Shrek the Third (another DWA film). Jason Schwartzman was originally attached to the film as the male lead (a character named Masklin). It would appear as if Schwartzman is no longer attached. To that end, Masklin may have either been rewritten as Branch, restructured as a completely different character in the film, or written out entirely.
Not much is known about the story at this time, but it sounds like the film will function as an origin story for the Trolls, especially where they got their “gravity-defying and colorful manes.” In the film, Poppy and Branch will venture “far beyond the only world they have ever known, [and] their quest will test their strength and reveal their true colors – with no shortage of musical mash-ups along the way!” DWA says.
The film will be directed by Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn from a screenplay by Erica Rivinoja.
Trolls will march into theaters on November 4, 2016.
What do you think? Any thoughts on Justin Timberlake’s casting?
Edited by: Kelly Conley