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The Controversial Robert Downey Jr. Movie Fans May "Never See"

Downey Jr. played a questionable character in a Jamie Foxx-directed film shot in 2016.

Robert Downey Jr. is a big draw at the box office, but there's one movie he already filmed that may never see the light of day. In 2016, the actor made a movie directed by Jamie Foxx. All-Star Weekend stars Foxx and Jeremy Piven, and Downey plays a supporting character. With such big stars involved, you may wonder why the comedy hasn't been released. But the decision to shelve it for years may make more sense once you learn more about the Iron Man actor's character.

While Downey hasn't commented on All-Star Weekend publicly, Foxx and Piven have both commented on the prospect of the firestorm the movie would likely cause. Read on to find out why this unseen film is so potentially controversial.

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The movie is about two basketball-loving friends.

Jamie Foxx and Jeremy Piven at Open Spotlight at The Oasis in 2016
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Airbnb

All-Star Weekend is a comedy about two tow truck drivers (Foxx and Piven), who are obsessed with basketball and take a road trip in order to attend the NBA All-Star Game. Along the way, they come across various characters who complicate their mission. In addition to Downey, other co-stars include Eva Longoria, Ken Jeong, Gerard Butler, Benicio del Toro, and Jessica Szohr.

Downey plays a Mexican character.

In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel in 2018, Foxx shared some details about the movie, including that Downey plays a Mexican man.

"I called Robert Downey Jr. I said, 'Will you come be in the movie, just give me four hours, but the only catch is you have to play a Mexican.' I said, 'Could you play a Mexican?'" Foxx then launched into an impression of Downey. "He said, 'Dude, here's the deal, sure, of course.'"

Foxx also shared that one of his own characters in the movie is a "racist white cop," that Butler plays "a Russian who loves gymnastics just as much as we love basketball," and that del Toro plays "a tattoo artist slash Dr. Phil."

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Foxx said Downey became nervous after taking the role.

Robert Downey Jr. at the premiere of "Dolittle" in 2020
Silvia Elizabeth Pangaro / Shutterstock

While Foxx said that Downey agreed quickly to being in the movie, in another interview, he said that the actor then expressed hesitation later. Speaking to Joe Rogan in 2017, Foxx said that Downey agreed to play a Mexican character during their phone call, "Then he texted back and said, 'I'm nervous to play the Mexican.'" Foxx continued, "I said, 'Well [expletive], you played the Black dude and you killed that [expletive].' We gotta be able to do characters."

Foxx was referring to Downey playing an actor who wore blackface in the 2008 come Tropic Thunder. The role got him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Foxx still hopes the movie will be released someday, when the climate changes.

Jamie Foxx at the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Joe Seer /

All-Star Weekend was pushed back more than once and still hasn't been released. Currently, there are no plans for it to come out at all. But, in a new interview with CinemaBlend, Foxx said that he is still hopeful that his directorial debut will get to theaters someday.

"Man, it's been tough with the lay of the land when it comes to comedy," he said. "We're trying to break open those sensitive corners where people go back to laughing again." Then, referencing his latest movie, the Netflix release Day Shift, he said, "Hopefully, we'll keep them laughing and run them right into All-Star Weekend, because we was definitely going for it."

Piven isn't convinced.

Jeremy Piven at 2019 Hollywood Fight Night
Eugene Powers / Shutterstock

As reported by Variety, Foxx's co-star, Piven, doesn't believe the movie will ever come out, but not because it's offensive.

"You'll never see it .. Jamie doesn't want to release it," Piven said on "Get Some with Gary Owen".

"It's one of those things where Foxx is probably the most talented guy I've ever been around, known, heard of. He's the funniest guy in the room. He can sing. There's nothing Foxx can't do," the actor explained. But, he 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 five years."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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