Chris Columbus ("Home Alone" and the first two "Harry Potter" movies) is set to write and direct.
"There is a role for a pop star who can really sing, and Justin is dying to do it," Columbus told the Sun-Times' Glare column.
"I'm making everyone take screen tests, including Justin," Columbus said.
Presumably, the role Timberlake is aiming for would be the HIV-positive songwriter-rocker Roger, who falls for neighbor Mimi.
Filming may begin as early as this fall. The musical, about artists and outsiders in the East Village in the late 1990s, is still running at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre. The show was inspired by Puccini's La Bohème. The show won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.