Here’s the first image for the upcoming drama The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall. Not a whole lot of meat to the shot, but it’s got Duvall doing what he does best: pointing and being dramatic. The film marks the first time David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers, The Change-Up) has moved into the dramatic scene and for the outing he’s joined by screenwriter David Seidler (The King’s Speech).
The Judge follows Hank Palmer (Downey Jr.) as he returns to the home he grew up in only to find that his distant father, who is also the town’s judge (Duvall), has been accused of murder. Palmer begins searching for clues to his father’s innocence and in the process rebuilds bridges with the rest of his estranged family. Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl), Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring), and Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa) also star.
Directors that take their first stab at a new genre following a stint in another usually fare surprisingly well. Sam Mendes nailed his first straight action movie with Skyfall and James Wan reportedly had some extremely promising footage shot for Fast & Furious 7. Bolstered by strong talent, Dobkin should do well here.
Admittdly, the director has had his rough patches; it’s unclear exactly who was responsible for the astonishingly bad The Change-Up, whether it was Dobkin, his writer, his editor, or all three, but Wedding Crashers gives him a bit of a pass from that. Of course, he also directed Fred Claus, so maybe we should tread lightly. We’ve got almost a year to wait for The Judge, but when it releases on October 10th, 2014, we’ll be able to see if Dobkin’s still got it.