Robert Downey Jr. had one of movie history’s greatest comebacks that led to a legendary rise to greatness. Aside from eleven years as Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, RDJ has quite a list of accomplished films under his belt.
His ten on-screen film roles as Iron Man were preceded by his leading role opposite Val Kilmer in the ’05 adaptation of the novel Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The film was well received and led to a roll out of more serious and challenging roles. The next big picture was Richard Linklater’s fully rotoscoped film A Scanner Darkly. The film was both the most expensive and most lucrative rotoscoped film to date, costing over 8 million to produce and raking in over 7 million worldwide.
Downey went on to star in the classic and true serial killer story Zodiac as Paul Avery, the media man that the Zodiac Killer was gunning for. Shortly after this was the Iron Man role. This led to Downey getting higher profiled roles more frequently like the dramatic biopic The Soloist and the big box office comedies Tropic Thunder and Due Date. Downey became mostly synonymous with two films roles, however. One was Tony Stark and the other was the Great Detective Sherlock Holmes.
The Guy Ritchie directed Sherlock films are Downey’s second biggest success. He captures a charisma and playfulness in the character that, despite the fantastic portrayal, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock does not quite carry. Both Sherlock Holmes and its sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows are truly enjoyable films both compelling and entertaining. The burning question is this, what is the next step after being officially done with the MCU films?
The Voyage of Dr. Dolittle
Most people picture Eddie Murphy when they hear Dr. Dolittle. Some may picture Rex Harrison, and a select few of weirdos think of Kyla Pratt. Starting 2020, however, you may start picturing RDJ. The new Dr. Dolittle film from Disney has our boy in the titular role as the animal doctor himself. Downey has been in talks to take another Disney role for years. There was long ongoing rumors about him playing Geppetto in a Pinocchio live action film, but those rumors have since ceased. In its place is the already filmed movie The Voyage of Dr. Dolittle. The film has been penned and directed by Syriana director Stephen Gaghan. The film is sure to include that realistic Disney CGI from The Jungle Book and the upcoming Lion King remake. An all-star cast will also be voicing some of the animals. It is set to release in January of the new year.
Jamie Foxx has written and directed a comedy about two friends on their way to All-Star Weekend for the NBA. One is a huge Lebron James fan while the other idolizes Stephen Curry. The film sounds like it is in the style of Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle. The two buddies will run into trials on their journey. No official details have been released from the studio, but Jamie Foxx was on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast back in 2017 giving Rogan some anecdotal information. Foxx plays a white, racist cop while Downey plays a Mexican character. This is much like Downey’s role in Tropic Thunder in which he plays a white actor who is playing a black character in blackface. Other characters include a Russian gymnast played by Gerard Butler and a tattoo artist played by Benicio Del Toro. The cast is rounded out by the likes Eva Longoria, Corrine Foxx, Jeremy Piven and DJ Khaled. This should be… weird.
Sherlock Holmes 3
Finally, Downey is supposedly beginning the early stages of a third Sherlock film. Writer Chris Brancato (Hannibal and Narcos) has penned the script with the help of RDJ himself. Guy Ritchie is rumored to be returning for a third time alongside the cast of Downey, Jude Law and Rachel McAdams as Sherlock, Watson and Irene Adler. All three carved out a spot in the MCU and continue to work in high profile roles.
RDJ has a couple of rumored projects in the works as well as a film where he plays infamous con artist Dr. John Brinkley. None of these later movies are 100% official, though. Downey is a more selective actor, like Leonardo DiCaprio, thanks to the success of Iron Man’s brand. It is certain he will make the few roles he takes really count.
What is your favorite RDJ role? Are you excited for a new Dr. Dolittle?