We all know that Robert Downey Jr. can do anything. He’s appeared in comedies and dramas alike; has done action, horror, and neo noir. He’s played billionaire playboy philanthropists, wannabe detectives and expectant fathers. He’s even been animated. But as far as I know – and correct me if I’m wrong – Robert Downey Jr. has never played opposite himself. That might all change if the rumors concerning Ben Stiller’s Pinocchio are true.
According to Bleeding Cool, the current plan for Ben Stiller’s version of Pinocchio is that Downey Jr. takes on the roles of Pinocchio’s father/creator Geppetto, and the little wooden puppet himself. There’s no word on whether that will simply mean that Downey Jr. voices an animated Pinocchio and plays Geppetto live-action, or if the actor will do some kind of motion-capture deal for the puppet part.
Beyond the notion of Robert Downey Jr. playing opposite himself, this idea is even more intriguing. Pinocchio is Geppetto’s fantasy, after all; his dream of having a real son. By setting up Pinocchio and Geppetto as the same person, played by the same actor, the split between creator and puppet becomes a personality split. That could be a challenge for RDJ; it could also produce a very noteworthy version of the story.
Pinocchio is still in development, though, with script decisions just firming up. There hasn’t even been confirmation that Ben Stiller has signed his deal to direct the film for Warner Brothers (Tim Burton was originally interested in the film.) Stiller has been fairly busy, with his version of The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty heading to theatres this Christmas. We can expect more solid news on Pinocchio before long.
What do you think? Does Pinocchio sound like an interesting idea? Does Robert Downey Jr. have the acting chops to play opposite himself? Do I even need to ask that question? Let us know in the comments below.