There are murmurs that the boy band will take part in Trolls Band Together starring Justin Timberlake.
Legendary boy band NSYNC has laid dormant for over 20 years, but fans are speculating that a reunion may be imminent. The reason: Trolls Band Together, the third animated Trolls movie starring Justin Timberlake.
EW has not confirmed the reunion, but the trailer for the upcoming musical comedy certainly leaves clues for eagle-eyed viewers that hint at the possibility of an NSYNC reunion.
In the trailer, Branch (voiced by Timberlake) is visited by his long-lost brother John Dory (Eric André), who reveals that Branch used to be a member of their family boy band, BroZone. We see John Dory and his other brothers (voiced by Kid Cudi, Troye Sivan, and Daveed Diggs) perform a mashup of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” and the Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back),” with the phrase “Backstreet’s back” swapped out for “BroZone’s back.” Fans may recall that NSYNC performed the former song in a tribute to the Bee Gees at the 2003 Grammys.
“Branch, we’re out of sync,” one of Branch’s brothers later says, not-so-subtly referencing the pop star’s former group, although there are references to several other boy bands as well. “We’ve gone from boys to men and now there’s only one direction for us to go: the backstreets.” The plot of the movie seems to revolve around Branch and John Dory tracking down the rest of their brothers so they can mount a reunion.
Justin Timberlake, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick, Lance Bass, and JC Chasez of NSYNC.
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Interestingly, it seems that in the movie, Timberlake’s character was abandoned by the rest of the band (“my brothers walked out on me and never came back,” he says). In reality, Timberlake was the first to leave NSYNC in 2002 to launch a solo career, and the rest of the band never formally announced a breakup — they were on indefinite hiatus. However, in his 2007 memoir (appropriately titled Out of Sync), Bass wrote, “We’re definitely broken up. It’s not a hiatus. Justin made it clear that he wouldn’t be interested in discussing another album any time soon.”
Members of the band have also been teasing a possible reunion on social media.
Bass has also posted a few lighthearted teases about the band’s reunion on TikTok.
NSYNC briefly reunited for Timberlake’s performance at the 2013 VMAs, and also all appeared on Ellen in 2018 in celebration of the group’s new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Bass, Chasez, Fatone, and Kirkpatrick joined Ariana Grande onstage during her Coachella set in 2019 without Timberlake.
The first Trolls movie spawned Timberlake’s hit single “Can’t Stop the Feeling” which became the best-selling song of 2016, won a Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media, and currently stands as one of the most successful soundtrack songs of all time. The second film, Trolls World Tour, also featured an expansive pop soundtrack.
Based on the previous movies in the series, it’s safe to assume that Trolls Band Together will include a similar soundtrack — and based on the movie’s focus on boy bands and Timberlake’s continual involvement in the franchise, it wouldn’t be surprising if an NSYNC reunion is nigh — hopefully with no strings attached.
Representatives for Universal, RCA, Bass, Chasez, Fatone, Kirkpatrick, and Timberlake did not respond to EW’s request for comment.