Justin Bieber tries to make the big screen his world
The newly released teaser for Justin Bieber's 3-D nonfiction movie, "Never Say Never," promises that, on watching the film, you will "experience his world." Whether that's a selling point we'll leave for others to decide. What it does suggest -- with its recollections from Usher and archival footage of a young(er) Bieber -- is that John Chu's quick turnaround movie, whose teaser you can see here, will give the 16-year-old the full biopic treatment. Or at least the "This Is It"-esque here's-your-chance-to-watch-a-musical-genius-at-work treatment. (There's also, apparently, an inspirational element to the film: "He came from such a small town. It gives us hope," a tween girl tells the camera.)
Cultural questions about millennials aside, "Never Say Never" does raise an interesting business issue. Movies built around tween musical sensations have a mixed commercial record -- a trip to the big screen worked out for the Hannah Montana movie; it didn't pan out quite as well for the Jonas Brothers (though Bieber's YouTube popularity dwarfs both of those phenoms). So we'll see how he translates. In the meantime, you have to wonder which will come first -- an ebb in the Beeb's popularity or the movie's Feb. 11 release date. The race is on.
-- Steven Zeitchik