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.