The Iron Man and Avengers movies may pay the bills, but when there's a break in his schedule Robert Downey Jr. is dabbling in projects that don't involve superpowers. He recently took time out for an extended cameo in Chef, the small-budget film from his Iron Man director, Jon Favreau, which is doing gangbusters (for an art house film, anyway) at the box office. He also agreed to star in The Judge, a courtroom drama that Downey has previously said has one of the best scripts he'd ever read.
The question is whether audiences will be as interested in him when not in the role of Tony Stark. Certainly, The Judge isn't going to make $1B or anything like that, but at least judging by the first trailer it may earn Downey some awards attention. Directed by David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) and featuring a solid cast of Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, David Krumholtz, Leighton Meester, Dax Shepard, and Billy Bob Thornton, the story follows a slick big-city lawyer called back home upon learning of his mother's death. Only when he returns he discovers it's his estranged father, who happens to be the town judge, accused of her murder.
Not only is this something of a change of pace for Downey, but also for Dobkin who is best known for helming comedies. There's certainly a good bit of humor here, as well, along with mystery and family drama elements making for an ambitious combination. Whether it all comes together for The Judge we'll have to wait until October 10th to find out.