Well this is one hell of an exciting match-up. As we saw last weekend, Robert Downey Jr. just began filming the massive Marvel sequel Avengers: Infinity War and its untitled follow-up down in Atlanta, but the actor is staying busy with non-Marvel films as well. Downey Jr. is set to star in an untitled feature for Annapurna Pictures with Boyhood and Before Sunrise filmmaker Richard Linklater directing. The film is based on the episode “Man of the People” from Gimlet Media’s Reply All podcast, which aired on January 19, 2017—so this project came together fast.
In what sounds like incredibly timely material, the podcast episode “tells the true story of charlatan Dr. John Brinkley who scams his way to fame and fortune using fake medicine, populism, and the newest technology of the time: radio. As Brinkley’s fame grows, he gets the attention of Dr. Morris Fishbein, editor of the AMA who begins a decade long quest to take him down.” Downey Jr. will produce the film alongside Susan Downey and Annapurna’s Megan Ellison, with Linklater co-producing.
Linklater and Ellison most recently teamed up on the filmmaker’s Boyhood follow-up, Everybody Wants Some!!, a terrific and immensely entertaining slice-of-life “hangout movie” with jokes, camaraderie, and profundity to spare. Linklater is one of our best American filmmakers, and Downey Jr. is obviously a force to be reckoned with onscreen, so this pairing is mighty exciting.
While Downey Jr. has certainly ventured outside the MCU with films like The Judge and Due Date, he’s been kept busy with Iron Man duties over the last couple of years. After Captain America: Civil War came a supporting role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and he’s now back at it again on Infinity War. If this Linklater movie comes together soon, it could mark Downey Jr’s first non-Marvel movie since 2014’s The Judge.
Linklater, meanwhile, most recently wrapped filming on the comedy sequel Last Flag Flying, a follow-up to the Jack Nicholson-fronted The Last Detail. That movie stars Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, and Laurence Fishburne, and Linklater is also attached to direct the in-development adaptation Where’d You Go Bernadette? for Annapurna.
Listen to the podcast episode that will serve as this film’s source material right here.