(original article in French)
Since the first Iron Man film was released in 2008, Robert Downey Jr. has appeared in three films that are not related to a franchise. Last October, we learned that Robert Downey Jr. has been approached to star as Perry Mason, the adaptation of a television series from the 1950s-1960s (and before that, novels of the 1930s) that followed a lawyer who fought impossible cases. There has been no news of the project since but if Downey Jr. accepts the leading role, he will be headlining three separate franchises: Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes, and Perry Mason.
When you look at his filmography, one notices that after Iron Man in 2008, the actor has only done three original films: Tropic Thunder (2008), The Soloist (2009) and Due Date (2010). It’s still three films in three years, but when compared to the consequences of spin - he has done seven projects over five years!
We have seen him in Sherlock Holmes in 2009. The second film comes out in France this Wednesday; the third film was already being written even before A Game of Shadows was released in the United States. And guess who’s writing Sherlock Holmes 3? The writers of Iron Man 3.
After a brief appearance in The Incredible Hulk (as Tony Stark), he donned his red-yellow suit again for Iron Man 2 (2010). The Avengers will be released in April followed by Iron Man 3, scheduled for May 2013. It’s starting to be a bit much, right?
Attached to these films by contract, Robert Downey Jr. cannot refuse to appear in these sequels. After all that, he might appear in Tim Burton’s adaptation of Gepetto but as with Perry Mason, nothing is official. At a time of writing this article, the next film by Robert Downey Jr is a sequel or a franchise film, a schedule which already extends to 2013.
Has Robert Downey Jr. become a prisoner of his franchises? He, who bounced back (largely thanks to Iron Man, for that matter) after years in the wilderness, has seemingly sunk into a routine which might end up boring viewers. After a disappointing start in the US for A Game of Shadows, we are entitled to ask the question. It opened to almost two times worse than the first film, released in December 2009 and against Avatar! And even abroad, the second Sherlock Holmes film was not always a success, as in Germany, where the film was beaten when it was released by Intouchables.
By May 2013, he may have time to sign for another project, but by juggling Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes, and The Avengers, will he end up going in circles?