Robert Downey Jr. Plays World’s Most Infamous Scam Doctor Following ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Known for starring as the quick-tongued and death-defying superhero Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. has virtually become his iconic character (so fans believe). Tony Stark and RDJ – for better or for worse – exist as one entity amongst fans of the franchise. RDJ does not play Iron Man; rather, he is Iron Man.

Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. | Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images ROBERT DOWNEY JR.

With Avengers: Endgame on the horizon, many are curious as to what the actor has planned following the final installment in the decade-long saga? If he’s not going to be spending all of his time working within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, what will he be doing instead? Aside from taking on one of the most beloved characters, Dr. Dolittle, Robert Downey Jr. is set to star as the internationally notorious scam artist, Dr. John Brinkey.

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Robert Downey Jr. will star in an untitled John Brinkley biopic post ‘Avengers: Endgame’

While the film does not yet have a title, the narrative will follow the 20th-century con artist John Brinkley who claimed to be a doctor and scammed his way to the top (gaining fame, fortune, and everything that goes with), according to IMDb.

Richard Linklater is set to write the film alongside Holly Gent, and he will direct Robert Downey Jr. in the title role. As of now, no other cast members have been announced, but the film is reportedly in pre-production.

Richard Linklater is most recognized for his films analyzing suburban culture and the general passing of time; in other words, he takes a microscope to the human condition. Linklater is known for his work on Boyhood, Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise, and Slacker.

Holly Gent wrote 2008’s Me and Orson Welles and penned the script to the Cate Blanchett film titled Where’d You Go, Bernadette? scheduled to hit cinemas in August 2019. The screenplay is based on the book by Maria Semple. With Linklater and Gent behind the script, the film is likely to come across as a poignant exposé, of both society at the time and John Brinkley himself.

What do we know about John R. Brinkley?

John R. Brinkley, first off, should not be referred to as a Doctor; however, after years of faking it, it seems that he has permanently acquired the prefix. John Brinkley was an American man who fraudulently claimed to be a medical professional. He gained the affectionate label – “Goat-Gland Doctor” –  after he began the xenotransplantation of goat testicles into humans.

His goat testicle procedures earned him national fame, international notoriety, and great wealth. While initially promoting the procedure as a way to cure male impotence, he began claiming that it was a cure-all soon after. Basically, if you had a weird stomach ache, Brinkley suggested the goat testicles. If your arm hurt, Brinkley suggested the goat testicles. You got the idea.

Though he was eventually prohibited from practicing medicine, he was such a beloved man that, when he ran for governor of Kansas (his hometown), he nearly won! While he got rich quick, he died poor. For, by the end of his lifetime, he had been sued multiple times for malpractice and wrongful death.

Robert Downey Jr. will produce the John Brinkley Biopic alongside Susan Downey

Robert Downey Jr. – the leading man in the tale of an infamous con artist – will also produce the film alongside his wife, Susan Downey. Megan Ellison, Chris Giliberti, Tim Howard, Richard Linklater, and P.J. Vogt are also set to co-produce the film.

Robert Downey Jr. will likely give quite the performance as a con man, as it seems like a good follow-up film for the man we know as Tony Stark. While he will no longer be the “good guy,” fans will hopefully get to see the cleverness and quick-witted nature he brings to the MCU. The movie feels like a perfect departure from The Avengers: it’s similar, but not so similar that he has to fear future typecasting.