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Robert Duvall to Co-Star with Robert Downey Jr. in ‘The Judge’ (EXCLUSIVE)

David Dobkin helms the Warner Bros. pic

Robert Duvall is looking to lay down the law, as he is in final negotiations to play the father of Robert Downey Jr. in Warner Bros. pic “The Judge.”

David Dobkin is on board to direct. It will be a co-production between Team Downey and Big Kid Pictures. Susan Downey, David Dobkin and David Gambino are producing.

The pic is a dramedy about a big-city lawyer who returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town’s judge, is suspected of murder.  He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before. Bill Dubuque has written the most recent draft, with Nick Schenk writing the original script.

Studio also had discussions with Jack Nicholson and Tommy Lee Jones for the part, but decided to go with Duvall for the pivotal role of the judge.

Though the deal is not quite closed, the studio is already eyeing others to fill out the rest of the cast, having already narrowed the choices down to Vera Farmiga and Elizabeth Banks for Downey’s ex-girlfriend.

The news also solves the question of what project Downey would do next as the actor was weighing several projects including the third installment of “The Sherlock Holmes” series. With “The Judge” the furthest developed among the projects Downey was weighing, and with Duvall now in place as his co-star, it looks likely to be Downey’s next project.

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The ICM Partners-repped Duvall was most recently seen in Paramount’s “Jack Reacher.” “The Judge” would be the first time the two seasoned actors have worked together.

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