The former guiding light of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Robert Downey Jr., is teaming up with his old pal Shane Black for a new movie. According to the Hollywood Insider newsletter, Black’s scripting a new adaptation of the Donald E. Westlake’s Parker novels for Amazon Prime Video and Downey Jr. is set to star.
The newsletter doesn’t say whether Black will be directing the film, but if he is, it will be the third time the pair have teamed up to lead a film. The duo has, of course, worked together on the action movie Iron Man 3, but more notably, they teamed up for the thriller movie Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – the film Downey Jr. credits with reinvigorating his career and earning him the role of Tony Stark.
“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ which is, I think, in some ways the best film I’ve ever done,” Downey Jr. told Joe Rogan while guesting on his podcast. “It wound up being a calling card. It came out, and it bombed, but Jon Favreau saw it, and he said, ‘This guy could do an action movie.’ And so that wound up being my calling card into the Marvel Universe.”
Donald E. Westlake’s novels tell the story of Parker, a career thief whose first name we never learn. Parker lacks all the redeeming qualities of a traditional hero. Even being willing to kill if he has to, but he does have one scruple. He will never betray another criminal unless they betray him first.
Parke’s been adapted for the big screen several times in the past. The most notable is probably the most recent (released in 2013) starring Jason Statham as the titular criminal. Unfortunately, this adaptation received poor reviews upon release, so here’s hoping Black and Downey Jr can redeem the character in the eyes of the public.