Annapurna Pictures has partnered with Susan and Robert Downey Jr.’s Team Downey production company on an untitled feature film based on the episode “Man of the People” from Gimlet Media’s “Reply All” podcast. Richard Linklater is set to direct the project with Downey Jr. attached to star.
The podcast tells the true story of charlatan Dr. John Brinkley who scams his way to fame and fortune using fake medicine, populism, and the newest technology of the time: radio. As Brinkley’s fame grows, he gets the attention of Dr. Morris Fishbein, editor of the American Medical Association who begins a decade long quest to take him down. “Reply All,” which features stories about how people shape technology and how technology shapes people, aired “Man of the People” on January 19.
Team Downey’s Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr. will produce alongside Annapurna’s Megan Ellison. Linklater will co-produce through his Detour Filmproduction banner with Gimlet Media’s PJ Vogt, Tim Howard, and Chris Giliberti.
Downey Jr., of course, plays Iron Man in the Marvel Comics movies and next appears in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War. His recent non-superhero films including The Judge and Chef. Linklater is a five-time Oscar nominee whose Boyhood was up for Best Picture in 2015, and most recently helmed Everybody Wants Some!!, which Annapurna produced. Other credits include Before Midnight and its predecessors, along with Bernie, Fast Food Nation and the stoner classic Dazed and Confused.
Annapurna recently produced 20th Century Women, Sausage Party, Joy, American Hustle and Foxcatcher.
CAA represents Gimlet Media, Linklater and Downey Jr.