Robert Downey, Jr., the amazing actor who rose from the ashes of his very public substance abuse to become a major film star via such franchises as the very buff Sherlock Holmes and the equally super heroic Iron Man, is now reportedly going to star as the next incarnation of Lee Marvin’s Point Blank (1967) character, Walker. According to this fairly detailed article online.
Downey is of course not the first actor to reimagine the pulp novel character of Walker, (a.ka. Parker, Porter, et.al) as this article points out correctly, which other sources do not. Crime novelist Donald Westlake, writing under the pen name of Richard Stark, has seen his master thief character portrayed on film by everyone from Jim Brown and Robert Duvall to Mel Gibson and Jason Statham, all with varying degrees of success. Of course, like the many incarnations of James Bond, to most film fans Lee Marvin IS Walker, the same way Sean Connery will always be THE Bond. That said, I’m not one to jump on the “why-are-they-remaking-a-classic” bandwagon, as I think Robert Downey is an exceptional actor and can probably pull it off. Now, if we only knew which version of Westlake/Stark’s character they intend to use…
In other Point Blank related news, the original film’s producer, Judd Bernard, has passed away recently at the age of 94 as reported here.
I met Bernard briefly as he turned up as a surprise guest on the Q&A panel of a screening of the film to launch the promotion of my book, Lee Marvin Point Blank. That was quite a night and his kind shall not pass this way again. Rest in Peace.
– Dwayne Epstein