Robert Downey Jr.'s Rehab Drama For Showtime Has Serious Potential
Here's a show to get excited for. According to Deadline, Robert Downey Jr. is developing a new series for Showtime about a rehab center in Venice Beach, Calif. Gary Lennon, a writer and producer whose credits include episodes for Orange Is the New Black, Black Box, and Justified has penned the script for the yet-untitled drama. There's a lot of be excited about with this new show, but perhaps the most interesting aspect of this new project is Downey's exploration of a topic that hits very close to home.
Known in Hollywood as a sobriety success story, Downey has experience with being out of control and addicted. The actor, who rose to fame in the '80s with films like Weird Science and Less Than Zero (in which he played a heroin addict) and moved on to critically acclaimed roles like his 1993 Oscar-nominated role as the titular character in Chaplin, struggled with drugs for most of his career. In the late '90s, he was arrested numerous times for possession of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. His career took a nose dive — he was virtually uninsurable. After numerous stays in rehab and a four-month stint in jail, something finally stuck in 2001 and RDJ decided to get clean for good. He told Parade Magazine in 2008:
Five or six years ago, I saw the writing on the wall. I knew the party was over. It was time for me to come out of the Dark Ages and get real... People rise out of the ashes because, at some point, they are invested with a belief in the possibility of triumph over seemingly impossible odds.
Though not much is known yet about the series that Downey is developing, there is already a clear personal parallel in his latest project. Downey has been open about his struggles with addiction in the past, and it would make sense for him to use some of his personal story within the Showtime series. There is no word yet on when we can expect to see the story unfold on the small screen, but one thing is for sure: I'll definitely be watching.