Marvel superstar Robert Downey Jr. and indie film maestro Richard Linklater are teaming up for a yet-to-be-titled film based on an episode of the popular “Man of the People” podcast from Gimlet Media.
Team Downey will partner with Annapurna Pictures for an adaptation of the episode, titled “Reply All” which aired on January 19. The true story follows scam artist Dr. John Brinkley, who rose to fame using fake medicine, populism, and radio. He reached peak fame for transplanting goat testicles into humans. Editor of the journal of AMA, Dr. Morris Fishbein was looking to take him down and stop his crazy cons to put a stop to his wild and unearned fame.
The Iron Man star will produce alongside Susan Downey under their Team Downey shingle. Megan Ellison from Annapurna will also produce. Director Linklater is set to co-produce via Detour Filmproduction alongside PJ Vogt, Tim Howard, and Chris Giliberti from Gimlet Media.
Podcasts becoming a source for film adaptations may not be a huge trend right now, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it became THE kind of IP to adapt. On his podcast SModcast, director Kevin Smith told a bizarre story about an owner of a house seeking a person to dress up as a walrus in exchange for a free rent in his nice house. Smith thought the story so fascinating that he adapted it into a full-length thriller titled Tusk starring Justin Long as a podcaster who is transformed into a walrus against his own will. The film didn’t fare well with critics, but it proved that podcasts can be a source for interesting film material.
Linklater recently directed the coming-of-age pic Everybody Wants Some!! and is currently working on the dramedy Last Flag Flying starring Bryan Cranston and Steve Carell.
Downey Jr. will continue to don the Iron Man suit as Tony Stark in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War.
Both are repped by CAA.
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer