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There are two ways to look at a story like this. The more positive outlook is the one taken by our friends at WENN, where this story originated. They say, “Robert Downey, Jr is so determined to make Iron Man 2 a hit, he's helping rewrite the screenplay to ensure it surpasses the original superhero movie.” Because I’m a cynical bastard, the alternative view is the one I’m going to take here: So Robert Downey Jr.’s newfound success has finally gone to his head and now his director has to stroke his ego by crediting him with all aspects of the film whether or not he had anything to do with them?
Hey I love RDJ in a way I haven’t loved a man with a three letter abbreviation since NPH. But since when is he a writer? The man’s only previous writing credit is on a 1993 movie called The Last Party, which was basically a campaign documentary and didn’t exactly require a lot of, you know, writing. And now for his follow up to that non-writing affair he’s rewriting the screenplay of what will surely be the biggest movie of summer 2010? How does that happen?
It must be true though, since it comes straight from the lips of Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau who told Empire magazine that it all started on the first film. Says Favs, “Robert is a real partner in the process. He's been very involved in the screenplay. When he went away to do Sherlock Holmes he was still part of our creative process. Even in the first film, where he was originally a hired gun playing the role, he really stepped up to rewrite scenes - he's a great writer, too. So we really are sharing the responsibilities.”
You can’t argue with success. The first movie worked brilliantly and for all we know RDJ wrote the scene with the robot fire extinguisher. There’s no denying that Downey seems like a pretty smart dude so maybe he could pull off a choice, superhero retort or two when handed a pen. My cynicism is likely unwarranted. Before you know it he’ll be adapting Jane Austen.