Robert Downey Jr. is done playing Iron Man (though some fans want a different fate for him). But it would seem the actor is finding a sort of inspiration from the Marvel superhero.
Just as Tony Stark went from billionaire playboy to using his wealth to save the world, Robert Downey Jr. is doing the same. Not in the form of producing Iron Man suits to fight baddies and keep the peace. But the next best thing.
On Tuesday night, the actor attended Amazon's Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space (MARS) conference in Las Vegas as a keynote speaker.
At it, Downey Jr. announced his plans to launch a new initiative called Footprint Coalition. Its goal is to use robotics, artificial intelligence, and technology to clean up the Earth and reverse its carbon footprint. In a decade.
"Quick disclaimer, I don't pretend to understand the complexities we face as a species, just because I portrayed a genius in my professional life. My scholastic achievement peaked at a correctional finishing," he said. "On the flip side, I did play and interesting and iconic character for 11 years, Tony Stark."
On where he got inspiration for the project, he said: "Recently, I was at a table with super smart, impressive, expert folks about six months ago, and the following statement was made: 'between robotics and technology, we could probably clean up the planet significantly, if not entirely within a decade.'
"Being essentially a 54-year-old child, I said, 'Let's do it! Let's commit to a process, let's form a coalition.' And that did not inspire the reaction I expected. It was dead silence.
"I know it's a kumbaya type dream. It's a logistical clusterf--k. I'm down with dedicating myself to maybe one small part of making good on that statement. Even in abject failure, it's still the best idea I've ever had."