Now that his time as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s marquee character has drawn to a close, Robert Downey Jr. faces a pivotal moment in his mid-career resurgence. With the role that brought him back from the brink of obscurity and shot him straight to the top of the Hollywood A-list currently in his rear-view mirror, whatever he does next has the potential to determine his trajectory for the next few years.
Admittedly, his first post-MCU venture didn’t exactly go to plan after Dolittle was savaged by critics and bombed at the box office, with the addition of extensive reshoots unable to save a movie that always looked like it was going to end in disaster. Of course, the 55 year-old’s next outing, which looks to be Sherlock Holmes 3, will see him remain in blockbuster territory, but at least this time, he’s safe in the knowledge that the first two installments earned over $500 million each.
One thing he should really be actively looking to do though is dip his toes back into comedy, because he found great success in the genre after landing an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in Tropic Thunder, as well as headlining Joker director Todd Phillips’ Due Date. The latter saw Downey Jr. as the fast-talking straight man opposite Zach Galifianakis’ bumbling slacker, and the duo’s chemistry propelled the pic to over $210 million globally on a $65 million budget.
Due Date was released ten years ago, and yet it marks the last full-blown comedy that Robert Downey Jr. starred in, which is a crying shame for someone with his talent, timing and charisma. Rumors might continue to persist that a return to the MCU is already on the cards, but fans that want to see one of his better 21st Century movies that doesn’t involve Iron Man can check out Due Date when it arrives on Netflix next week, on September 1st.