The competition between the two major producers of American superhero comics is the stuff of legend. Today the rivalry between Marvel and DC Comics extends to the films and television based on their IP as much as their original source material. Both companies have rabid fan bases and major actors in their stables, so it is always a surprise when one crosses lines.
Robert Downey Jr. is one of the most important actors in the MCU, having portrayed Tony Stark, aka Iron Man in ten films. The character died in “Avengers: End Game,” theoretically bringing the relationship between Downey and Marvel to an organic end. Now the Academy Award-nominated actor is helping to bring the DC comic “Sweet Tooth” to Netflix.
Downey and his third wife Susan Downey will be executive producers on the show, which is due out on June 4. It will feature comedian and SNL-alum Will Forte and Dania Ramirez who played Callisto in the X-men franchise as well as previously starred in “Heroes” on NBC. The story will follow animal-human hybrids surviving in a post-apocalyptic world. Check out the trailer below.
The series is based on the comic book of the same name which was first launched in 2009 under the now-defunct Vertigo imprint of DC Comics. It was created by writer and artist Jeff Lemire, who has worked for both major comic companies over his career. While for a time the artist was signed to an exclusive deal with DC, once that contract lapsed he has gone on to write for rival Marvel, including work on X-men titles and a Hawkeye comic. He’s won two Eisner Awards. While the original series concluded in 2012, a sequel title is currently in production at DC called “Sweet Tooth: The Return.”
The adaption was originally attached to Hulu, who commissioned a pilot, before moving to Netflix. It is associated both with the Downeys’ production company, Team Downey as well as Warner Bros.
Robert Downey Jr. was in the middle of a career comeback after infamous substance abuse problems when he was cast as Iron Man in 2007. The burgeoning Marvel studios resisted casting the actor because of his history at the time but Downey was advocated for by director John Favreau. The first Iron Man film was a massive surprise hit and launched the MCU as we know it.
The actor recently tweeted an alternative deleted scene to celebrate the anniversary of “Endgame,” showing he’s very much still on good terms with his old bosses at Marvel.
Downey’s Iron Man is still slated to appear in this year’s upcoming “Black Widow.” The film is a prequel, taking place before Tony Stark and Natasha Romanov’s respective deaths in 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame.” Since then, Downey has appeared in the film “Dolittle” and will be making a return to the Sherlock Holmes franchise. The actor starred in 2009’s “Sherlock Holmes” and its 2011 sequel “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.” The third film in the series was originally set to be released in 2020 but due to the global pandemic has been pushed back to December of this year.