Sunday, August 10, 2008

Downey’s “Iron”-clad future is not so elementary


If movie things go his way, Robert Downey Jr. could be carrying two film franchises on his suddenly superstar shoulders in a few years.

Downey this week steals scene after scene as an Australian Oscar winner playing a black soldier in Ben Stiller’s often funny “Tropic Thunder” Hollywood sendup. Then, before tackling “Iron Man 2,” he says he’ll begin shooting an updated “Sherlock Homes” this fall for director Guy Ritchie (“RocknRolla”).
“We start Oct. 6,” Downey said last week during “Tropic” interviews in Los Angeles. “Guy Ritchie’s take on it is based on making a contemporary version of a good classic portrayal of exactly how it was. It’s not telling one of the stories from one of the books or anything like that, though.

“The cool thing about Sherlock Holmes is that he was actually a very skilled martial artist. It’s not just his deduction and all that stuff, but it’s a very action-packed version of that, which to me is really exciting.
“I just love the idea of martial arts, bare-knuckle boxing, before there were rules that came in the 19th century or whatever. Before all the rules, where it was all proper, it was really balls to the wall, brutal-type stuff. Guy is a martial artist, I’m a martial arts student, and so they are putting a team of people together.”

Then, of course, comes the sequel to this summer’s gigantic “Iron Man,” and the white-hot Downey is more than prepared to see his very cool Tony Stark character evolve.
“Our goals will be more of the same,” he explained. “The idea of it is that (Stark) said he was Iron Man in Part One. It’s one thing to say it and another to actually move to the point where you can live in a heroic fashion.
“Let me tell you something, the super hero movie always needs to follow an arc. It’s like ‘Who is that guy? Get him out of here.’ We want to do what worked for us last time in the way it evolves, which was talking about a guy who is put in an extraordinary circumstance. It’s the people around him and how that creates a sense of family. It’s how that disrupts whatever forces we have to keep growing up.
“I like the idea of an ‘Iron Man 2’ in which you are able to understand various points of view," Downey concluded. "You are able to touch on some subjects that are a lot more far-reaching while still grounded in entertainment.”
Later this year, Downey, 43, co-stars with Jamie Foxx in director Joe Wright’s The Soloist,” set for late-November release.
(Read my review of “Tropic Thunder” later this week in the Sun News, where director/writer/star Ben Stiller talks about the film. Meanwhile, Downey and co-star Jack Black discuss their macho roles in my post on MovieZen.)

No comments: