Lance Bass on his NSYNC superfan movie’s wild link to studio boss, if the band will star
With the success of films like Lady Bird and Hustlers, it seems like filmgoers have begun to embrace nostalgia for the aughts, and Lance Bass has taken note of it.
The former NSYNC member just announced he has partnered with Sony’s TriStar Pictures to produce a film about two girls who quit school to follow NSYNC on their final tour in a Winnebago they won from the game show The Price Is Right.
“The fact that it happened just like that, that they willed that weird thing to happen,” Bass exclaims, “it was the biggest prize ever given on Price Is Right, I mean that is nuts to me. So that means it has to be a film.”
The executive producer of the as-yet-untitled film talked to EW about the serendipitous way the film finally got greenlit, who he’s thinking about for the cast, and why NSYNC may not be characters in the film.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: To start, can you walk me through how long of a journey it’s been getting this film greenlit?
LANCE BASS: It’s actually been about a 20 year journey. When I first found out about this true story, we were towards the end of our [Popodyssey] tour, and these girls had been following us for two and a half months already. I was watching TRL from inside the venue in San Diego and Carson Daly is on the Winnebago with these girls out front, talking about their story, and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, this is the coolest thing ever.” So me and the guys immediately went out into the parking lot, met the girls, gave them tickets to the rest of the shows, and it was just a really cool story. I knew at that moment, I’m like, “this is going to be the best movie one day. I cannot wait.” That was my first year to ever produce a movie, so I’m like, “this is gonna be one of my movies.”
Fast forward 20 years later. I’ve pitched it a few times throughout the years, but no one really was jumping at it [until last] year. I’d just did this documentary on Lou Pearlman, and I was doing some press for it, and I was talking to Variety, and they’re like, “What’s your next film?” I was like, “Well, I’ve always wanted to make this film.” The next day Sony calls and says, “That’s it. We want to do this.” The crazy thing was the reasoning behind it was the chairman of Sony is the one who called, and he’s like, “You have no idea. One of the girls has been [my] nanny for the last 10 years.” So he had this crazy connection with the actual person who lived it, so he got it immediately. I’m like, “Yes!” That was such a great inside thing to have.
And that put you back in touch with the girls again?
It did. I mean, I hadn’t seen these girls since that day, so we contacted them to see if they even wanted their story told, and they jumped at the chance. They’re so lovely. It was nice to see them get back together because, you know, life gets in the way, everyone moves to different places, and it was nice to see their friendship bond more in the development of this film.
Where are you guys at as far as development goes? It was just announced that Sony bought it, and that you’re producing it with Cindy Cowan, but do you have a writer, director, and cast already set?
We have not started casting, but we have lots of great cast in mind because with this story, we’re actually putting it 20 years later. So it’s older women that we get to work with, and it’s definitely a comedy, so we have lots of great people in mind from Ellie Kemper to Amy Schumer, that type of great comedian. But we can’t cast until the script is done, so we’re about to start the script. We’re looking for the best writer right now, and we’re excited to find that because I think finding a real strong female writer is what’s key for this girls road trip.
Does that go with directing too?
Oh, yeah. I think this is a story about women and I want it to be told by women, so hopefully we can find a great female writer, great female director. I think it would just be so much fun to work on a project like that.
Have you been keeping a mental note of the actors who love NSYNC, just in case they’re right for this movie?
I mean all the time, yes. You run into a lot of great people who grew up on our music, and it’s very flattering and so funny, so it’s definitely been a good in for a lot of people who we’re trying to cast. There’s a lot of NSYNC fans that hopefully will be dying to play these roles.
How will the group play into the movie? Is NSYNC playing themselves? Are you casting younger versions of you guys?
I mean, I have a lot of creative things that I want to do with this. Of course, who knows what it will land on, but my gut feeling is to make it a fictitious band because I want people to suspend their imagination a little bit, and not let it be too on the nose about NSYNC. So I’m probably going to create it as a fictional band and NSYNC will not be in it at all. That way I can really have fun with the stunt casting of the band. When we would finally see the band in the film, it might be some of your favorite people who are not NSYNC.
How is music going to play a role in the movie?
What’s gonna be so fun about doing this film is the music. I can’t wait to work on the soundtrack because we’ll definitely have some original songs on there, but this is gonna be a love letter to the year 2000. So you’ll get that amazing music because, you know, on a road trip it’s all about the playlist you have. So the playlist we’re going to create for this film is going to be spectacular.
What are your favorite road trip movies? Are there any you find inspiring for this project?
I love Girls Trip, of course. I think that was just so incredible. It had that kind of Bridesmaids comedy, which I’m just obsessed with. And then Rat Race, of course, is like one of those classics all around, so are just two of my favorites, for sure.