With Marvel movies being hit with back-to-back delays, people are finding themselves on a rewatching spree, reliving all of their favourite superhero moments. The person at the centre of many of those is the legendary Robert Downey Jr. who played Tony Stark/Iron Man for 11 years.
Since the release of Avengers: Endgame where Robert Downey Jr. concluded his involvement with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (at least we think he did?), he has been up to numerous projects. Last December, he was the host of The Age of A.I., a web series that aired on YouTube Premium. The series was co-produced by his production company which he runs with his wife called Team Downey, founded in 2010. The Age of A.I. consisted of eight invigorating episodes that discussed the role that artificial intelligence plays in our everyday existence. He brought his unique wit and charm to the series, making it one to be watched by the masses, whether you are a science buff or not.
A month later, another Team Downey project was released, the children’s fantasy film Dolittle which starred Downey as the titular character. Despite the film’s all-star cast (Hello, Tom Holland and Rami Malek!), it found itself being labelled as a “flop” and the receiver of mixed reception.
Fast-forwarding to now, within these last few months, Robert Downey Jr. has found himself incredibly busy. He has been active on social media, sharing his hilarious video chat with co-star Gwyneth Paltrow for “Register A Friend Day” and he has been feuding back-and-forth with Ant-Man star Paul Rudd for FanDuel’s charity fantasy football league.
Allow us at Small Screen to talk you through a few of his most recent endeavours!
Robert Downey Jr. launched the environmental organization Footprint Coalition in April 2020. The organization’s goal is to “scale adoption of technologies to restore our environment.” He teased this announcement in June 2019 when he delivered the opening keynote for Amazon’s re:Mars conference.
Channelling his inner Tony Stark, a man whose most powerful suits utilized clean energy, Downey shared, “Between robotics and nanotechnology, we could clean up the planet significantly, if not totally, in 10 years.”
Most recently, the company has invested in insect farming. Yuck, but totally good for our ecosystem!
Then there’s the popular Perry Mason! Perry Mason is a reboot series that was launched on HBO during the summer. It is a period piece, following a private investigator during the Great Depression. The show surpassed expectations, lending itself to become one of the strongest debuting shows on HBO in the last two years.
Sadly, it doesn’t star Robert Downey Jr. but Robert Downey Jr. and his wife, producer Susan Downey, both served as executive producers of the show. While we didn’t get to see Downey on-screen, fans were able to relish in the behind-the-scenes images shared.
A second season is tentatively in talks.
The alpaca photo? We’ve all seen the alpaca photo, right?
Personally, as a big Downey fan and a die-hard alpaca enthusiast, this picture is framed on my wall.
Robert Downey Jr. subsequently broke the internet with the announcement of this project, posting an image of him alongside an alpaca after a few quiet weeks. The Bond is a new series premiering on Discovery Channel, produced by Team Downey. The show is described as one that “takes an intimate look at the unique bond between animals and humans, spotlighting these relationships in its purest forms.”
It seems to be the next, natural step for an animal-lover, as in addition to his acting career, production projects, and various endeavours, Downey has been very open about his farm.
This project is currently in production.
Sustainable Toilet Paper
This one seems to be an odd one: Robert Downey Jr. is investing in environmentally-friendly “tree-free” toilet paper alongside his Iron Man BFF Gwyneth Paltrow. The company is called Cloud Paper and is advertised as 100% made of bamboo.
This after Footprint Coalition? You can’t say he isn’t consistent.
Sherlock Holmes Cinematic Universe?
Most recently, it was announced that Team Downey is interested in turning the Sherlock Holmes film series into its own cinematic universe. Taking some inspo from Marvel, I see.
Unknown to few, Robert Downey Jr. played Sherlock Holmes in the very popular Sherlock Holmes films in both 2009 and 2011 (with a third currently in production). During an exclusive interview with Fast Company, Downey shared that he has big dreams for the series’ future.
In this interview, Downey shared, “At this point, we really feel that there is not a mystery-verse built out anywhere, and Conan Doyle [author of the Sherlock Holmes book series] is the definitive voice in that arena, I think, to this day. So to me, why do a third movie if you’re not going to be able to spin off into some real gems of diversity and other times and elements?”
Susan Downey added to this, “I do think that the decade of tutelage and observation, what we were both able to have with Marvel, watching them build out and see all the opportunities, was invaluable. It was like a master class.”
As a Sherlock Holmes fan myself, I am most curious about this project. It is clear they have put extensive thought into it, but I wonder how it will play out. The BBC Sherlock series showed that there are endless possibilities for Holmes and his partner-in-crime John Watson. The series consisted of 13 hour-and-a-half episodes and a holiday special.
With a fandom spanning decades, the film series could really pick off anyway and go anywhere (maybe even explore some fan theories).
Anything else? Downey will be a guest on David Letterman’s next season of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, premiering on Netflix on October 21. The trailer showed Letterman and Downey chilling with alpacas, clearly it’s going to be great.
This man has certainly kept himself busy during 2020, churning out project after project. Anything can come next.
What project are you most excited for?
Let us know in the comments!