Robert Downey Jr. to Make Directorial Debut with TV Pilot ‘Singularity’
For decades, Robert Downey Sr. has been cherished as a key figure in the American film underground, directing unabashedly countercultural pictures during the ’60s and ’70s, and carrying right on through to the present day. (Most famous of all was 1969’s Putney Swope, a razor-sharp satire of advertising and race on Madison Avenue that billed itself as the “Truth and Soul Movie.”) Downey’s showbiz background got his good-lookin’ son into the industry from a young age, but a new item from TheWrap today indicates that Junior will soon join the real family business and take the director’s chair for the very first time.
Because a man apparently has some free time left over when balancing a career as one of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars with life as a sex symbol, Downey has agreed to direct the pilot for a new sci-fi series called Singularity. The plot details remain shrouded in mystery — though the title would suggest it’ll have something to do with technology evolving beyond human control, a future-panic scenario referred to in scholarship and spec-sci-fi as the Singularity — but Anthony Michael Hall has already signed on for the leading role. A former cast member of Hall’s in Weird Science (and on one oddball season of Saturday Night Live), Downey will get behind the camera for episode one and produce the rest of the series through his Team Downey production company. (Team Downey previously produced the 2014 drama The Judge and has laid claim to the feature-length rights for Black Mirror episode “The Entire History of You.”)
The first directorial endeavor from a career actor is always a dicey proposition; for every strong showing from a performer who has clearly paid attention during their time on film sets, there’s a vanity project that gives actors plenty of leeway to emote to the heavens. Here’s hoping this one’s more Ordinary People than American Pastoral.