Producer Susan Downey Talks Team Downey’s Upcoming Slate, Including the Horror-Comedy CLOAKED and PINOCCHIO

     September 26, 2014

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As the former co-president of Dark Castle Entertainment and Executive Vice President of Production at Silver Pictures, producer Susan Downey has a bit of experience in putting movies together.  Her current venture is overseeing the Warner Bros.-based production shingle Team Downey, which she and her husband Robert Downey Jr. formed in 2010.  Their first produced feature from the company, The Judge, opens in theaters on October 10th, but Team Downey has plenty of other intriguing projects on tap for the near future.

Steve recently spoke with Susan Downey in anticipation of the release of The Judge, but during the course of their conversation she also gave an update of what the company has in active development at the moment, including a pair of films poised to star Robert Downey Jr.—the horror comedy Cloaked and their long-developing Pinocchio riff—and a number of television projects.  See what she had to say after the jump.

the-judge-robert-downey-jr-david-dobkinTeam Downey was first formed four years ago, and Downey explained their overall approach to development:

“We’ve been spending this kind of ramp-up time from the time we started the company to now with a lot of different projects in development.  What we aren’t doing is saying, ‘We have to do this, this, and this’ because the ‘this, this, and this’ might not be ready, and you don’t wanna go and make something that’s not ready.”

They’ve been carefully shepherding a number of projects, and while The Judge is the first to hit theaters, it certainly won’t be the last:

“[Robert] probably has to go do another Marvel movie or two.  He might have one more up his sleeve.  But for Team Downey we’re super excited.  We’re developing Pinocchio for him to be Geppetto, it’s this kind of absolutely beautiful but insane version of Pinocchio that Robert’s working on.  We have Yucatan, which was based on—the late Steve McQueen had an idea for this treasure hunt movie; he wrote these insane leather-bound volumes of this beautiful story and we’ve taken that as our launching point to do this great wild, action, sort of Inception-type movie so we’re working on that right now.  We have the Hunter Scott USS Indianapolis story.  So we have sort of a whole range.”

robert-downey-jr-pinocchioThe Pinocchio film has been in the works for a few years now, with Tim Burton and Ben Stiller separately eyeing the director’s chair in the past.  We haven’t heard an update on it in some time, but it’s certainly nice to hear that the project isn’t dead.

And Downey also mentioned the original horror-comedy that Team Downey is developing based on an idea from Robert himself:

“If you can believe it there’s even like a horror movie that Robert had an original idea for that we have a writer working on right now.  Kind of an American Werewolf vibe to it… He’s always wanted to do [a horror movie].  Not a slasher movie, the kind that is a little bit classier.  But this one certainly is going to have a sense of humor to it.  Because again, anything we do, no matter what genre, if it’s drama it has to have wit and humor, if it’s more comedic it has to have a heavier layer of reality underneath it.  We don’t go too broad either side of the spectrum.  Those are fun to see, but we kind of try to drive from character.”

Warner Bros. acquired the horror pitch—tentatively titled Cloakthis past May, and I am certainly curious to see what a Robert Downey Jr. horror film would look like.  It’s unclear which of these films might move forward first, but Team Downey has certainly amassed a varied array of projects to choose from.

But Team Downey isn’t solely focused on the feature film realm, as Downey added that the company is also developing a number of TV projects as well:

“We’ve been playing a lot with television.  We have some shows set up and some new shows that are about to be set up.  We have a first look at Warners so we have a couple things set up at Warner TV, we have something at Showtime, we have something with MRC, so there’s a whole kind of range.  We have two things we’re spec-ing out, so once those are done we’ll probably bring them to Warners first and then somewhere.”

So you could say Susan and Robert Downey Jr. are rather busy at the moment.  Look for Steve’s full interview with Susan Downey closer to the release of The Judge.

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Susan Downey Interview Team Downey

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