Robert Downey Jr. looks to make a prodigal return to Hollywood. Since hanging up Iron Man’s suit in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans of the 56-year-old actor have awaited the next big project for Downey Jr, who has largely remained under the radar with the exception of that one cringe-worthy movie a few years ago. Looking to make a triumphant return to Hollywood, Downey Jr’s next project is set to bring the American actor back to his crime days, as he reunites with Shane Black, the director of Iron Man 3.
According to Empire Online, Robert Downey Jr. and Shane Black are looking to reunite for a new film. The duo last worked nearly a decade ago, when Black directed as well as penned the screenplay for Downey’s third and final feature film wrapping up the Iron Man trilogy that throttled the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the well-oiled machine it is today. Before Marvel, the pair first worked together on the 2005 acclaimed black comedy crime thriller, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. As Downey Jr. and Black look to reunite for the third time, the Hollywood men find themselves working together once again on a crime series; this time taking on Donald Westlake’s notorious fictional character, Parker. Black has written the new film to direct for Amazon Studios, with Downey Jr. set to star as Parker.
Parker is a fictional character created by American novelist Donald E. Westlake. Written under the pseudonym Richard Stark, Parker is the epitome of a merciless anti-hero. The beloved protagonist has been the star of 24 novels penned by Westlake spanning from 1962 to 2008. For those unfamiliar with ruthless criminals, Parker is a professional thief. As a career criminal, Parker is often described as heartless, meticulous, and willing to kill anyone that gets in the way of his mission. And unlike similar characters with the same qualities as him, Parker never develops a moral consciousness throughout his story arc. As a long-spanning character in crime-fiction, Parker has been portrayed by many other Hollywood leading men similar to Robert Downey Jr.
Parker’s cunning persona has been brought to life in many forms within Hollywood. The irredeemable character has inspired roles played by Lee Marvin in 1967’s Point Blank, Jim Brown in 1968’s The Split, Robert Duvall in 1973’s The Outfit, Peter Coyote in 1983’s Slayground, Mel Gibson in 1999’s Payback, and most recently with Jason Statham in 2013’s Parker. With Shane Black adding his own flair to the popular character, Robert Downey Jr. will next portray the ruthless criminal.
Robert Downey Jr. has been involved in the film industry since a very young age. And even though he received critical acclaim for his coming of age roles in 1980’s films like Weird Science and Less Than Zero, his career was tarnished due to years of publicly struggling with substance abuse. Part of Downey’s revival in Hollywood was credited to not only him getting clean, but also directors like Shane Black giving the actor a second chance, such as with his second coming to film via Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
While many are familiar with his Hollywood upbringing, Robert Downey Jr’s pivotal success came with Marvel and his iconic portal of Iron Man. Going from public arrests to being Hollywood’s highest-paid actor, Downey Jr. has proven time and time again that he has what it takes to bring iconic characters to the mainstream. And while his new project alongside Black is likely far from debuting on Amazon Prime, he will soon star in another thriller. Downey Jr. is set to appear in a TV adaptation of The Sympathizer for HBO and A24 with Oldboy director Park Chan-Wook.