Just a few weeks ago, we were treated to our first glimpse of Michael Fuchs’ The Greatest Showman. With its colorful carnival scenes and lively dance numbers, the film was an immediate hit at the box office.
And now? The sequel is set to hit theaters on December 6 and fans of the original are already counting down the days to see it again.
The same fate could potentially await another of Hollywood’s hottest couples: Justin Timberlake and Robert Pattinson. Both Lionsgate and Disney have dated films starring the actor and the singer, with more projects in development.
Timberlake and Pattinson first graced our screens together in 2013’s The Great Gatsby. Since then, they’ve gone on to star in blockbuster films that have grossed over $1 billion at the box office, like 2019’s The Gold Coast and 2018’s Yesterday. (And, of course, there was that fateful scene in The Great Gatsby when…well, you know what happened.)
So is this Hollywood’s latest It couple? As with many others before them, the two actors have been closely associated with the phrase ‘the It-factor’. But is their chemistry strong enough to make them truly ‘fit’ for each other or will their individual stars continue to shine too brightly?
Can They ‘Work’ Together?
Pattinson and Timberlake have certainly established themselves as leading men in their own right. With 27 and 20 years’ experience respectively, they are popular for their work regardless of the film genre and continue to be so even after all these years. (In fact, in 2018 alone, they were both nominated for five Oscars and three BAFTAs.)
Their individual followings are so big that they frequently headline their own festivals. (Pattinson will be headlining the Los Angeles Film Festival this year and Timberlake is set to host this year’s Grammys.) These are individuals who have firmly planted themselves in the cultural zeitgeist. And yet, despite all of this, they somehow manage to inject new life into their on-screen collaborations. (Pattinson and Timberlake’s first film together, The Great Gatsby, was the highest-grossing film of 2013 and it has continued to enjoy steady box office returns since.)
“When you’ve been friends for as long as I’ve known Justin and Robert, you develop a sixth sense for what makes a good match for your friends. They’re both funny, attractive, talented and most importantly, they get along well with each other,” says Samantha Mathison, director of the Wedding Industry Insights group. “Their personalities blend perfectly and they make for a highly compatible couple.”
Their on-screen chemistry is undoubtedly one of the reasons the audiences have stayed interested in their portrayals of couples. Even after all these years, it continues to feel fresh and it still draws a large audience. (The latest entry in the popular PORT film franchise, set to hit theaters soon, is based on their real-life courtship and is yet to be released in cinemas.)
While they may not always be the most traditional of Hollywood couples, Timberlake and Pattinson have proven that they can pull off spectacularly traditional stories. (Their recent films have all been romance/comedy/drama/adventure/fantasy stories that have followed a familiar plot structure.) So it’s clear that audiences have not lost interest in stories about long-lasting love. (The sequel to The Greatest Showman will be yet another film based on a ‘couple who overcome adversity to become together.’ So it would seem that Hollywood is still fascinated by happy endings.)
The Latest ‘It’ Couple
While there is no denying that the actor-singer and the actor have enjoyed a very long and fruitful collaboration, their own individual stardom has not dimmed with age. (Last year alone, Timberlake released four studio albums and went on a world tour.)
Pattinson, for his part, has become one of the world’s most recognizable faces. (His image now graces the covers of nearly all of Hollywood’s major magazines and he has starred in multiple lucrative TV advertisements.)
Since 2017, he has been one of the few well-known faces to appear on the cover of Vogue at least once in each issue. And while he may be best known for his acting, he continues to find time to lend his considerable voice to cartoons and video games.
The two actors appear to be perfectly suited to each other. They are both passionate individuals who prefer to indulge their individuality. But, perhaps more importantly, they are both comfortable working within the confines of a romantic comedy. (Pattinson will next be seen in 2021’s The King of Hearts – an adaptation of the French novel by Alexandre Dumas. Before that, he will star alongside Timothée Chalamet in the highly anticipated Dumbo.
For his part, Timberlake continues to work hard on developing and nurturing his own unique brand. While his music may be best known for its bright and youthful exuberance, his vocal chops have aged quite well. (In 2019 alone, he released two hit albums, including one in collaboration with Apolo Ohno.)
The self-confident performer has established himself as a brand in his own right and has built a large and devoted fan base. While his music is a constant source of fascination, he has also shown considerable interest in expanding his repertoire into other forms. (He has made several successful forays into acting, directing and producing. He is currently attached to direct and star in the upcoming Toy Story 4.)
Like many other ‘It’ couples before them, Timberlake and Pattinson have proven that they can carry off even the most fantastical of stories. So while their individual stars may shine brightly today, the future of this new ‘It’ couple is certainly promising.