Justin Timberlake To Begin His Life Of Crime Next Week

Singer playing member of a drug gang in new movie.

Justin Timberlake's new movie project, which he's set to start shooting next week, is going to find him living a life of crime. The singer has signed on for a supporting role in the drama "Alpha Dog," in which he would play a fictional member of a drug gang led by Jesse James Hollywood, who orchestrated the kidnapping and brutal murder of a 15-year-old in August 2000.

Timberlake is slated to play a character named Franky Ballkowski, according to his spokesperson. The film is not meant to be a biopic of Hollywood and is only loosely based on real-life events, according to the film's rep, so there aren't strict parallels to Hollywood's real-life gang, all of whom are currently serving time for the crime he masterminded.

Hollywood remains at large, with a $50,000 reward offered by the FBI for information leading to his arrest.

In August 2000, the gang leader and his friends kidnapped Nicholas Markowitz from San Fernando Valley and took him to Santa Barbara, California, because the teen's older brother owed Hollywood money for drugs. In a bizarre sequence of events, Hollywood called his lawyer to find out what might happen to him for the kidnapping, and upon learning it could lead to a life sentence, decided to destroy the evidence, ordering his friends to kill the kid. Meanwhile, Markowitz, who considered the kidnapping to be a goof, spent his last days partying with his captors — drinking, smoking pot, meeting girls and swimming in a hotel pool. At times he was bound with duct tape, but mostly he was free to walk around and could have escaped, had he known his life was in danger. He was later hit in the head with a shovel and shot nine times before being buried in a shallow grave near a hiking trail.

"They were just your average 20-year-olds," said gang member William Skidmore's lawyer H. Russell Halpern. "They were upper middle class white kids. This wasn't supposed to happen in suburbia. It shocked people."

Also cast in "Alpha Dog" are Dominique Swain, Vincent Kartheiser, Shawn Hatosy, Vincent Laresca, Shera Danese and David Thornton. Emile Hirsch is slated to play Hollywood, Ben Foster the murder victim's brother, and Sharon Stone the mother of one of the leads.

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