I’m not making this up. That headline is essentially the headline Robert Downey, Jr. approved for Deadline:
DEADLINE: Marvel badly wants Iron Man 4 and you’ve said you aren’t doing it. How about the idea you’ll do that movie if Mel directs it?
DEADLINE: Is that our headline?
DOWNEY: Why not? That movie would be bananas.
Not that you should get your hopes up (based on Gibson’s talent as a director) or way down (based on his demons as a person), because Marvel would never, ever allow that to happen because Marvel does. not. fail. It’s in the Marvel Bible: Do Not Fail (and if the bodies of Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen are found in a ditch in the next few months, you’ll know it was because of Agents of SHIELD). And “bananas” is not exactly in the Marvel DNA.
It is interesting to think about what that movie might look like, though, and it’d most certainly be a hard R. If it weren’t for Mel Gibson’s racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and misogyny, I would be intensely excited for that version of Iron Man.
Downey, Jr. had plenty more to say about Gibson in his interview with Deadline, too, about how much Gibson has changed as a person, and how Downey would like to work with Gibson again (remember, Gibson basically pulled Downey, Jr. out of the gutter and saved his career at his lowest point, so RDJ has always had a soft spot for his friend).
DOWNEY: Well, first off, [Gibson] has changed so much. Nobody should make a case for somebody who just wants forgiveness but hasn’t changed, but he’s a fundamentally different guy. I think it was just the very worst aspects of somebody’s psyche being treated as though they were the blanket statement about a person. But honestly we are talking about a competitive business and it all comes down to this: because he is so gifted as a story teller and a director, I don’t know that he requires some sort of mass forgiveness. He has changed, but at the same time he’s still Mel. He and I are so similar in so many ways. He really, honestly is the first to admit his character defects and also is just a great, great collaborative guy. I always say too that if you want to judge a man or a woman then look at their kids. He has the healthiest, happiest, most productive kids you could ever meet or know, and I’m fortunate to be friendly with several of them. He did a lot right, and there’s stuff he taught me about parenting that didn’t sink in at the time but have proven to be true. We’re writing this thing right now, Yucatan…
DEADLINE: That’s the project Steve McQueen developed for himself.
DOWNEY: Yes, and I’m like, God, if I could find a part for Mel. But he also likes to do his own thing and sometimes he goes out of his way to do the unexpected. Sometimes with these things, it becomes a matter of time, and is seems like it’s getting a little bit old to hold a grudge.
I appreciate that Downey, Jr. is loyal to someone who was loyal to him in his darkest time, but that statement about how children are a reflection their parents smarts a little because it seems to suggest he has some parenting defects of his own (RDJ’s son, Indio, was arrested for drugs a few months ago).
In either respect, I’m not ready to forgive Gibson. I’m not sure I ever will be, because I don’t know that a person can fundamentally change that much, but I respect RDJ enough that I’d agree not to immediately reject a movie like Yucatan simply because Gibson is in it.