EXCLUSIVE: Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan Downey have named their Warner Bros-based production company Team Downey, and hired David Gambino to be president of production. For their first producing project, the Downeys have come aboard Yucatan, a heist film originally crafted by Steve McQueen as a star vehicle for himself. Team Downey will produce with Dan Lin, with whom they worked on Sherlock Holmes.
While Warner Bros tried for several years to find a movie in the nearly 1,700 pages of notes and storyboards compiled by McQueen and discovered in a trunk long after his death, Team Downey and Lin will go back to that source material and start from scratch. The studio made a new rights deal with McQueen’s son, Chad, who’ll be an executive producer with Lance Sloane. Downey is intrigued with the material and will get first crack at starring in it.
Gambino will move over from Silver Pictures and Dark Castle, where he produced Whiteout and the upcoming John Cusack-starrer The Factory. While numerous production execs interviewed for the job, Gambino had the advantage of having worked at Silver Pictures since 2001, including a stint as Susan Downey’s assistant while she was Silver Pictures president.
Deadline revealed in February that the Downeys were making a deal at Warner Bros, where he wrapped the Todd Phillips comedy Due Date. Downey will be engaged in films for the studio for the bulk of this year. He’ll start production on the Alfonso Cuaron-directed 3D space film Gravity, leave to shoot Sherlock Holmes 2, and then return to finish with Cuaron. Team Downey has opened offices in Venice. While a priority is finding a project for Downey Jr. to direct, they intend to go beyond hatching star vehicles for him.