Robert Downey Jr. and writer-director Shane Black are reuniting once again. The pair are teaming at Amazon Studios to develop a series of movie and television projects adapted from Donald E. Westlake’s “Parker” crime fiction series, Variety has confirmed.
The first project emerging from the deal will be a feature film titled “Play Dirty,” in which Downey Jr. stars as Parker, a professional thief with a brutal, mercenary work ethic. Black will direct and pen the adaptation alongside Charles Mondry and Anthony Bagarozzi. Joel Silver is attached to produce alongside Susan Downey for Team Downey and Marc Toberoff. Ezra Emanuel will co-produce.
“Play Dirty” serves as reunion for Silver, Black and both Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey. The four worked together on the 2005 neo-noir “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” which served as Black’s directorial debut and saw Downey star alongside Val Kilmer and Michelle Monaghan. Black and Downey Jr. later reunited when the filmmaker came into the Marvel Studios fold to co-write and direct “Iron Man 3.”
The series of “Parker” productions represents the latest development in a recent surge of new projects for Downey. Now nearly three years removed from his final bow as Tony Stark in “Avengers: Endgame,” Downey is taking his first steps out of mega-budget blockbusters in some time.
The actor will star alongside Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt and Matt Damon in Christopher Nolan’s biopic “Oppenheimer” at Universal. Downey is also set to play five different roles, including four antagonists, in HBO’s upcoming drama series “The Sympathizer,” which will be helmed by Park Chan-wook. “Oppenheimer” is set to hit theaters on July 21, 2023, while “The Sympathizer” is yet to set an official premiere date.
Black last wrote and directed the 2019 reboot “The Predator,” which served as a follow-up to his 2016 noir comedy “The Nice Guys.”
Puck was first to report the news.