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WATCH: Robert Downey Jr. Breaks 'The Judge' Trailer on Twitter, Variety Intros Vscore

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood June 20, 2014 at 12:18PM

In a sign of the times, Warner Bros. had Robert Downey, Jr. debut on Twitter the trailer for "The Judge," a serious drama in which the star plays a big-shot New York lawyer who returns home to Indiana after his mother dies, only to find himself defending his estranged father (Robert Duvall), who has been accused of murdering her. Why not? Downey has 1.9 million followers on the social media site. In other words, when Iron Man tweets, America listens.
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Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr. and director David Dobkin ("The Change-Up," "Wedding Crashers") are names you might associate with super-heroes and R-rated comedies.  But the two are taking the serious route in their new film, "The Judge," in which Downey plays a big-shot New York lawyer who returns home to Indiana after his mother dies, only to find himself defending his estranged father (Robert Duvall), who has been accused of murdering her.

Downey shared a first-look trailer for the film on Twitter last night, writing, "Here’s a first look at ‪#TheJudge‬. This is the kind of movie I grew up wanting to make. Only took 49 years."  Vera Farmiga makes a brief appearance in the trailer, as well as Billy Bob Thornton, who plays the prosecutor determined to get a guilty verdict in Duvall's trial.

In a sign of the times, Warner Bros. had its star debut the trailer on Twitter. Why not? Downey has 1.9 million followers on the social media site. In other words, when Iron Man tweets, America listens.

In fact, once internet-averse Variety announced this week its own version of Klout, or Vscore, "the entertainment industry's timeliest and most accurate actor measurement tool," measuring more than 17,000 actors via its own "familiarity and appeal metric," in other words, "social listening," box office, TV performance, awards, and upcoming projects. (It's a subscription product, natch.) Jennifer Lawrence and Jamie Foxx boast a 93 Vscore, while Tom Cruise and Steve Carrell follow close behind at 92, and Downey and Russell Crowe lead Ben Stiller, 87 to 84. Actors, get thee to Twitter and Facebook. (Arguably, social media pushed author John Green as the star of the movie "The Fault in Our Stars.") Check out Kevin Hart's Q & A on the subject of building a brand--free of studio control. 

Take a look at the trailer for "The Judge" below.

This article is related to: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Trailers, Trailers, The Judge, Video, Video, Twitter, Media, New Media & Technology


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.