Robert Downey Jr. Plays a Mexican Man in Shelved Jamie Foxx Comedy Movie
Foxx told CinemaBlend that the film's status in limbo is due to the state of comedy.
"It’s been tough with the lay of the land when it comes to comedy. We’re trying to break open the sensitive corners where people go back to laughing again… We hope to keep them laughing and run them right into All-Star Weekend because we were definitely going for it," Foxx said.
"I called Robert, I said, ‘I need you to play a Mexican.’ I said, ‘Sh--, you played the Black dude [in Tropic Thunder] and you killed that sh--.’ We got to be able to do characters," Foxx recalled.
In the film, Foxx and Piven play best friends who win tickets to the titular NBA event. On their road trip to Los Angeles to attend the event, they encounter a slew of quirky characters.
Downey Jr. plays a Mexican man, while Foxx plays a white racist cop in one of his multiple roles in the film.
Previously speaking about Foxx's unreleased film, star Jeremy Piven said the public will likely "never see" All-Star Weekend.
"I had the time of my life," Piven added. "Foxx is really hard on himself. He’s one of these dudes, you know, he wants it to be perfect, so he’s been holding onto this thing for [six] years."
In the aforementioned Tropic Thunder, Downey Jr. donned blackface in order to play character Kirk Lazarus, an Australian method actor who undergoes “pigmentation alteration” surgery to play a Black character.
The 2008 Hollywood satire was written by Ben Stiller and features several other A–listers.
In 2020, Downey Jr. told Joe Rogan on his podcast that his mother was "horrified" by the role.
“‘Bobby, I’m telling ya, I have a bad feeling about this.’ I was like, ‘Yeah me too, Mom.’ When Ben called and said, ‘Hey I’m doing this thing’ — you know I think Sean Penn had passed on it or something. Possibly wisely. And I thought, ‘Yeah, I’ll do that and I’ll do that after Iron Man,'" Downey Jr. shared.
In defense of his decision to accept the Tropic Thunder role, Downey Jr. said:
"Then I thought, ‘Well hold on dude, get real here, where is your heart?' My heart is… I get to be Black for a summer in my mind, so there’s something in it for me. The other thing is, I get to hold up to nature the insane self-involved hypocrisy of artists and what they think they’re allowed to do on occasion."
Downey Jr. claimed that "90 percent" of his Black friends loved the movie, while acknowledging he has no argument against the other 10 percent. "In my defense, Tropic Thunder is about how wrong [blackface] is, so I take exception," Downey Jr. continued.
Downey Jr. was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars, Golden Globes and Screen Actor's Guild Awards for his role in Tropic Thunder.